Carbon Commitment and Energy Management

CarbonCommitment1The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) came into effect at the beginning of April 2010 and is a mandatory carbon trading scheme for businesses, aimed at stimulating energy efficiency and delivering carbon reductions.

The scheme is aimed at organisations whose 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, although all organisations that have a half-hourly meter will be required to participate in some way.

Organisations who qualify must register or make an information disclosure by 30th September 2010. The Environment Agency has responsibility to enforce the CRC and if an organisation fails to register, they may be liable to a fine of up to £5,000 plus £500 per day until they successfully register.

Legislation

  • Buildings Regulations 2000
  • EU Regulation on a Revised Community Eco-Label Award Scheme 1980/2000
  • Eco-Design for Energy-using Products Regulations 2007
  • Energy Information and Energy Efficiency (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2007
  • Climate Change Act 2008

EPBD recast

Under the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which was transposed into legislation through Part L of the Building Regulations, there has been a requirement in England and Wales since 1st October 2008 to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) whenever a building is built, sold or rented out.

An EPC provides the asset rating of a property, while Display Energy Certificates (DECs) – required for larger public buildings – provide the operational rating.

Following assessments of the effectiveness of the EPBD, the EU Commission agreed to recast the Directive to simplify and clarify it on 17th November 2009. EU Member States will have two years to implement the proposed changes once the EPBD is revised.

For anyone managing a building the most noticeable changes will require:

  • Far more stringent checking of EPCs and DECs
  • Part L being revised by October 2010
  • The inspection of all air conditioning systems over 12kW by January 2011

CarbonCommitment2Top Tips

Whether your organisation qualifies to participate in the CRC or not, all businesses, large or small, should apply energy-saving practices.

The Business Link guide to Climate Change offers the following advice:

  • Take regular meter readings and compare consumption to previous months
  • If you’re comparing fuel used for heating your premises, take into account how cold it has been. The colder the period the more energy you will use
  • If you’re comparing energy used in production, take into account how much has been produced. The best way to do this is to record energy use per product item
  • Take regular readings of energy consumption and product output. Plotting these against each other over time will allow you to monitor any patterns and identify any changes
  • Regularly monitor your business processes which will highlight where you can reduce energy use. Consult with your employees and consider appointing an ‘energy champion’ to find new ways of reducing energy use

They should:

  • Report any waste that they notice, e.g. equipment left on unnecessarily
  • Contribute any ideas for improving the way things are done
  • Report any concerns they may have regarding equipment operation and maintenance

Further information

CRC guidance: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/lc_uk/crc/user_guidance/user_guidance.aspx

EPBD recast: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/recastepbdconsultation

Advice on cutting your organisation’s carbon emissions: www.carbontrust.co.uk/cut-carbon-reduce-costs/pages/default.aspx

CO2 Calculator. Find out how much CO2 you create and reduce your carbon footprint: www.direct.gov.uk/actonco2

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