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UK’s Energy Efficiency Scheme announced

The UK  Government has announced the final details of the Carbon Reduction Commitment due to start next year with Energy and climate change minister, Joan Ruddock setting out final details of the plan after finishing a consultation with business and other organisations affected.  The scheme also has a new name (!!!) and is now the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, to reflect the fact its main focus in to cut power use and therefore emissions. The scheme targets all large energy users including big business and government departments where those organisation’s annual half hourly metered (HHM) electricity use is at least 6,000 Megawatt hours (MWh) – typically those that spend £500,000 a year on electricity. The new scheme means that these organisations have to (only) report emissions in the first year (2010/11), then in following years they will have to buy allowances matching their emissions from energy use and then surrender them by the end of the year. In the second year (2011/12) extra weighting will be given to organisations ‘taking action early’ to improve energy efficiency.  Organisations which use ‘onsite’ renewable energy like wind turbines or solar panels by publishing the increased carbon savings from such measures will get increased ‘recognition’ under the CRC.  Mrs Ruddock said: “The UK is leading the way in tackling climate change and in the move to a low carbon economy” adding “Organisations and the public sector must play a central role including all government departments, regardless of size” saying “Large organisations have huge potential to achieve cost-effective energy efficiency savings, there are clear benefits from positive, immediate action to tackle climate change. Investment that takes place in the next few decades will have a profound effect on the climate in the second half of this century and in the next” adding that ”the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will help organisations to become more energy efficient, to save significant sums of money on fuel bills, and to show customers, clients and competitors that their organisation is a leader in tackling climate change.” The Environment Agency will publish the qualification and registration guidance for potential CRC participants by November.

Somewhat ironically the news came on the same day that a £1 billion fraud based around the European Emissions Trading Scheme was revealed. The scam was thought to have been set up in the UK and Spain but now detectives in Italy, Sweden and Denmark have also joined the hunt for the perpetrators. At its core, the scam using cross-border carbon trading to avoid VAT.  The UN has also been forced to suspend its accreditation of a number of companies dealing in carbon offsets as part of its own Kyoto protocol.

The UK Government also announced that Businesses can now size up their contribution to climate change with new UK government guidelines for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The guidance from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Energy and Climate Change is intended to help organisations measure carbon emissions and set targets to cut them.

See http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/business/reporting/index.htm  and see www.edie.net