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CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme 190410

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme 190410

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Published by: Beth Mitchell on Sep 10, 2010
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09/10/2010

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Commentary from the CRC Network CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Weeks into the launch of the UK’s

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and numerous press releases and reports later, commentators are unable to give much more than forecasts of the impact of this legislation on those affected. What we do know is that the legislation has caused controversy among some ‘user groups’; the landlords and tenants debate has raged, and the ambiguity posed for organisations involved in mergers and acquisitions has certainly given those with responsibility for emissions measurement a long lasting headache. By now, most organisations are fully aware of the financial implications and have made planning provisions around this. Whether these provisions have been correctly estimated is another question, with some commentators warning an additional 5% on energy costs over the next two years. We at the CRC Network also believe there is a real danger that financial forward planning arrangements have not been made to meet the costs of the first 5 years of the scheme; and that most firms have not yet secured the necessary buy-in from the top of organisations’ financial trees. Whether this is reflective of a lack of general understanding around how to manage carbon effectively within the parameters of the scheme, or a general ‘head in the sand’ approach is unclear; however from our perspective the lack of planning introduces further unnecessary risk into businesses at a time when organisations would benefit most from employing strategies that avoid or at least alleviate risk. As we meander through the first phase of the CRC, the priority for most organisations is to collect the data required for registration prior to September 30th 2010, pay the £950 registration charges, and relax under the blanket of compliance. The Environment Agency’s guidelines estimate that more than 20,000 organisations will have to register for the scheme before the end of September 2010; with around 5,000 of these having to report their emissions. We at the CRC Network have been unable to collect any data to find out just how many organisations have registered so far, but evidence from leading sustainability recruiter Acre points to an upsurge in hiring of energy efficiency and management personnel from organisations we would fully expect to fall into the scheme. Current Carbon Trust Standard Bearers now number over 250 organisations and include members of the public sector, retail, finance, transport, hospitality and leisure industries to name but a few. The fact that organisations are taking these proactive steps suggests to us that the CRC Energy Efficiency scheme is having an impact even in these early stages of Phase 1. An impact that perhaps is more subtle and less headline grabbing than the financial costs or the reputational risks of the league table; but that is demonstrative of the general acceptance of the legislation and of change. According to the Environment Agency’s website, the ambitions of the scheme are, among others, to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 11.6 million tonnes per year by 2020 and in this same time period allow organisations to save money through reduced energy bills. With all the controversy and debate that has surrounded the organisation and launch of the scheme, it’s been easy to loose site of the fact that this scheme has long term objectives that are critical to the UK’s carbon reduction. The small steps organisations take during the measurement, reporting and registration phase; gaining the Carbon Trust Standard, the up-skilling of the energy and carbon teams, incorporation and implementation of energy management software, carbon accounting measures, are the foundations for the scheme’s success. Brought to you by the CRC Network www.crcnetwork.co.uk

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