The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme introduces mandatory carbon management requirements for organisations with half hourly metering.
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1.2 Your obligations if you qualify
1.3 Risks and opportunities
Carbon cutting aims
The CRC is an important part of the Government’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. It aims to drive cost effective carbon emissions reductions through greater energy efficiency, rather than renewable energy or offsetting. Reducing how much energy organisations use is what counts here. The scheme is aimed at ‘large non energy intensive organisations’: businesses such as supermarkets, retail chains, hotel chains, large offices, small to medium industrial facilities, and almost all public sector organisations. This sector accounts for 14 million tonnes of carbon (MtC), nearly 10% of the UK’s total annual carbon emissions. DECC estimates the CRC will save 1.2MtC per year by 2020.
Any organisation with a half hourly (HH) metered site is affected as they will have to register for the scheme whether they qualify or not. Qualification depends on how much electricity the organisation has used at their sites with half hourly type metering from January to December 2008. The threshold is 6,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) (6,000,000kWh) and the HH sites considered are those for which that organisation is counterparty to the electricity supply contract, i.e. financially responsible for the electricity bill. Those exceeding the threshold have to monitor, report and buy allowances for their CO2 emissions from all fuels used on site each year. Those that don’t still have to register for the scheme and show they don’t qualify. This activity should have been completed by 30 September 2010.
The CRC is undeniably complex and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the detail. We’ve been helping our customers understand how it works and where the risks and opportunities lie since 2008. We’ve used that experience to develop this no nonsense summary of the key principles and concepts to help put the detail into context.
How it’s come about
After five years in the making, the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) became a reality in April 2010. It's part of the UK’s response to reducing carbon emissions at the point of use to help tackle climate change. It was developed through a consultative process initially lead by Defra (the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and more recently DECC (the Department for Energy and Climate Change).
How the CRC works
The CRC’s chief aim is delivering carbon savings amongst organisations using large amounts of energy. This is achieved most cost effectively through greater energy efficiency. But guiding and tracking the effectiveness of energy efficiency initiatives requires knowledge of where carbon emissions arise and how they are changing over time. That’s why the CRC requires organisations to measure and report their carbon emissions in more detail and more regularly than they may be used to.
After registering as a CRC participant, each year qualifying organisations are required to:
- submit a Footprint Report for all CRC emissions by the last working day of July for the start of each phase
- submit an Annual Report for in scope CRC emissions by the last working day of July each year
- buy carbon allowances to cover emissions retrospectively each year
- report on actual carbon emissions as part of the Annual Report and surrender a matching number of carbon allowances by the last working day of July each year
- maintain an evidence pack as an ongoing exercise as they could be audited at any point.
The CRC league table is published each year to show the relative carbon saving performance of participating organisations. This will have a reputational impact on your organisation.
Companies at the top of the league table may appear better at reducing their carbon emissions than those at the bottom. More consumers consider the environmental impact of companies they choose to buy from, and more companies seek to cut carbon emissions from their supply chain. So your league table ranking could enhance or damage your organisation’s brand and its potential for winning new customers and retaining existing ones.
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2.2 Working out your carbon footprint
CRC compliance depends largely on your ability to accurately report your organisation’s carbon emissions within the scheme’s definitions and deadlines.
How we can help
During our CRC customer education programme, we learnt that for many organisations, sourcing and managing carbon emissions data could make the actual carbon saving activity look relatively simple. So we’ve developed two services to help overcome the data challenge.
Our CRC Annual Statement Reports make getting your data free and easy. They provide you with all the energy use and carbon emissions data related to the sites supplied by EDF Energy. And this is presented in a format aligned to the reporting requirements of the CRC Registry website which makes uploading your data easier.
You can download your CRC Reports free via our Energy Zone service. Click here to register or log on or give us a call on 0845 7653 653 for more information. Or if your organisation had accounts with the British Energy Direct Limited part of the EDF Energy Group, you will need to contact your customer service consultant (name and number on the bottom of the invoice) to discuss obtaining a CRC Annual Statement Request form.
Our CRC Bureau reduces the burden of compliance. We do the hard work of gathering and managing your data, organising it according to CRC definitions, cleansing and maintaining it to ensure you’re able to report your emissions accurately and on time.
Give us a call on 0845 300 9146 for more information.
It’s best to follow a logical systematic approach to determining your organisation’s profile under the CRC, and then how to source and store the necessary data. We recommend you read the Environment Agency’s user guides.
Here are the four key stages to working out which operations, sites and emissions are relevant.
1. What’s your CRC organisation
The CRC contains a range of definitions to establish which organisations warrant inclusion within the scheme. It’s advisable to work with your legal team to identify all the entities in which your parent organisation has a majority shareholding to begin this assessment.
2. Which sites count
The CRC generally judges the carbon owner to be the party that takes responsibility for the supply of energy by signing an energy supply contract. Normally this will be the bill payer. A successful outcome is a thorough site inventory, listing all owned and occupied premises and who has responsibility for the energy supply contracts at each site. This will need to be included in your evidence packs.
3. Which emissions are relevant
The core/residual fuel definition exists to focus a business’s attention on the main energy uses at its energy hungry sites, i.e. where the greatest impact on cutting carbon emissions can be made most cost effectively.
Core fuels are typically electricity and gas used in sufficient quantities to be billed on a monthly basis – the remainder are called residual emissions.
4. Getting the data
Participating organisations need records of their energy use for the annual reporting exercise and also as evidence that their reports are accurate when audited by the Environment Agency. Data from energy bills is the accepted reporting currency within the CRC.
Start online. Most energy suppliers offer a ‘my account’ service (EDF Energy’s is called Energy Zone) which provides business customers with online access to their account information, including copies of bills. Give us a call on 0845 7653 653 for more information.
If your organisation had accounts with the British Energy Direct Limited part of the EDF Energy Group, you will need to contact your customer service consultant (name and number on the bottom of the invoice) to discuss obtaining a CRC Annual Statement Request form.
Also in this section:
3.2 Longer term success
Ultimately, the CRC is about improving energy efficiency to reduce carbon emissions year-on-year. This is where organisations can really benefit from the scheme through lower energy bills and spending less by purchasing fewer CRC allowances.
A quick win
Good energy efficiency plans require a detailed view of how energy is used. So the CRC specifically incentivises the adoption of better metering to record this data.
By upgrading manually read meters to AMR (Automated Meter Readers, often called Smart Meters), you’ll benefit by improving the potential for energy efficiency planning. AMR also provides more reliable collection of energy use data which will help reduce the workload related to the annual emissions reporting exercise. Call our Smart Metering team on 020 8298 8483.
One off initiatives won’t achieve the consistent year-on-year energy efficiency improvements on which longer term success in the CRC depends. Our Energy Services team provides the energy engineering expertise to develop robust energy saving programmes, manage their implementation and verify the savings achieved.
In our experience, energy savings are found in three main areas:
- Engaging your people. Getting your colleagues to consider the carbon impact of their decisions is challenging. We’ve developed some great tools and techniques to help you win the hearts and change the minds of staff on the shop floor and in your senior management team.
- Engineering further efficiencies. We help businesses uncover which of their operations and practices are performing poorly in terms of energy efficiency best practice. We help businesses adjust manufacturing processes, heating and ventilation of buildings, and equipment settings to achieve significant energy savings, often with little capital outlay.
- Upgrading inefficient technology. Sometimes it’s necessary to replace old, outdated equipment. We help businesses make informed choices to specify the right equipment for their buildings and processes, thanks to our wide ranging experience and the support of our R&D facilities.
Call our Energy Services team on 0845 300 9146 to find out how we can build an energy saving plan for your organisation.
Improve your metering
The Carbon Reduction Commitment provides incentives for companies to invest in Automated Meter Readers (often called Smart Meters). Smart Meters enable more reliable and detailed measurement of energy use than traditional manually read meters. This information is a must for effective energy management and also helps make energy reporting easier. To arrange a cost effective Smart Metering package for your business, please click here.
Make your carbon reporting easier
The scheme places regular carbon reporting requirements on participating organisations. Those that are able to easily monitor their energy use across all their sites and subsidiaries will find complying with the scheme more manageable. Our Energy View service is an automated energy monitoring and targeting facility that can help make your carbon reporting easier, and also help highlight opportunities for energy savings. To arrange an Energy View package for your business, please click here.