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Firms 'dazed and confused' by CRC regulation

The Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), which came into force this April, continues to confuse UK businesses, according to a group of leading business leasers.
A group of businesses met in London for the latest in a series of Sustainable Business round table debates organised by Sustainable Business magazine, to discuss how they are preparing to comply with the CRC.
The general feeling among the participants, including business leaders from the likes of BAA, Transport for London, Asda and Cemex, was that the mechanism is still not perfect.
Among the complaints heard around the table were:
· The league table is unfair to companies that have already carried out a lot of energy efficiency work and are likely to come lower down the league table than those that are just about to embark on the energy reduction programmes.
· The complexity of the regulation has drained resources and made it difficult to communicate the impact of the scheme in boardrooms.
· Fears that the CRC hasn't focused minds of cutting energy, more on complying with a new piece of regulation.
· A concern that the CRC will penalise growth in industry because there is no way of normalising the emissions data.
The detail of how the CRC will work has yet to be finalised, particularly for the later phases of the scheme, and the Government has not made it clear what changes, if any, will be made.
The round table, moderated by Andrew Warren from the Association for the Conservation of Energy, came in the wake of the Committee on Climate Change's independent report that offered the Government a series of recommendations on how it could change the post-2012, phase of the scheme - recommendations that were largely welcomed by the companies around the table, particularly the idea of having separate league tables for the private and public sectors.
The CRC, which will be regulated by the Environment Agency, is a mandatory energy efficiency scheme aimed at improving energy efficiency and cutting emissions in large public and private sector organisations. These organisations are responsible for around 10 per cent of the UK's carbon emissions.
The Sustainable Business Round Table events provide a forum for open discussion on a specific sub¬ject. This latest debate, focusing on the Carbon Reduction Commitment, took place on Tuesday 28 September at One Whitehall Place, London. It was chaired by Andrew Warren, director, Association for the Conservation of Energy and brought together energy, sustainability and climate change man¬agers from a cross-section of UK businesses, including CEMEX, Transport for London, BAA, Asda and Pinewood Studios.
5 October 2010

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