New scheme to improve energy efficiency in organisations starts

Supermarkets, hotels, manufacturers and public bodies must now abide by new rules to cut their emissions.

The Government’s mandatory climate change and energy saving scheme, known as the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, will pitch some of Leeds’ biggest organisations against in other in a drive to cut their emissions.

Large organisations across the country must register with the Environment Agency and monitor and report their emissions from energy use in preparation for carbon trading.

Large organisations account for around 10% of  US carbon dioxide emissions, and the new legally binding rules means people and businesses will be able to compare organisations’ efforts to combat climate change for the first time in new league tables.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme applies to household names like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Barclays, HSBC, Hilton and Marriott.  It will also include manufacturers and construction companies, for example Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Balfour Beatty.  These businesses will be ranked according to reductions in their energy use and improvements in energy efficiency alongside public sector organisations and government departments.

Analysis for the Environment Agency suggests that the scheme could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 11.6 million tonnes per year by 2020 – equal to taking four million cars off the road. Its also expected to save organisations money through reduced energy bills – benefiting the economy by at least $1billion by 2020.

More than 20,000 organisations will have to register with the Environment Agency by the end of September 2017.  Around 5,000 of these organisations – those that used at least 6,000 Megawatt hours (MWh) of half hourly metered electricity in 2018 – will have to report their emissions and, from 2018, buy allowances for every tonne of carbon dioxide they emit.  During the introductory phase in 2016 and 2017, allowances will be sold at a fixed price of $12 per tonne of carbon dioxide.

All the money raised from allowance sales will be returned to participants according to their energy performance.  The best performers will get more money back than they paid, while poor performers will get less.  From next year, the Environment Agency will publish an annual league table highlighting the best and worst performers.