Health, Safety & Environmental Compliance News
50 Days and Counting to CRC Deadline
The government will today call on large businesses and the public sector to act now to register for the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme, warning that with 50 days to go until the deadline for registrations they could risk fines of up to £45,000 if they fail to register with the Environment Agency.
"My message to businesses today is to register now," said energy and climate change minister Greg Barker.
He added that while some businesses had been deterred by the complexity of the scheme the coalition government believed that it would "encourage significant savings through greater energy efficiency and importantly will make carbon a boardroom issue for many large organisations".
The CRC energy efficiency scheme comes into full effect next April, but those businesses and public sector bodies covered by the scheme have to register their inclusion in the scheme with the Environment Agency by September 31.
Under the rules of the CRC, organisations that use more than 6,000 Megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity a year must register as participants in the scheme and provide annual information on their energy use. Meanwhile, organisations with a half-hourly electricity meter have to register as an information declarer, confirming that they do not use enough energy to qualify for the scheme.
The Environment Agency said today that over 1,200 organisations have so far registered as participants, leaving it well short of the 3,000 to 4,000 organisations that it believes will be required to join the CRC.
Similarly, around 4,500 organisations have registered as information declarers, despite the fact that 15,000 are thought to be legally obliged to register.
"Around a third of organisations that we expect to register for the CRC scheme have registered well in advance of the deadline," said Tony Grayling, head of climate change and sustainable development at the Environment Agency. " We would urge the remaining businesses to sign up now, and not leave registration to the last minute. Our dedicated CRC helpdesk is available to help businesses through the registrations process."
Participating organisations that miss the deadline for registration could face an initial fine of £5,000 and additional fines of £500 for each day they fail to register up to a maximum of £45,000. Those organisations that continue to fail to comply with the rules of the scheme would be named and would be included at the bottom of the CRC scheme annual league table detailing participant energy efficiency performance.
Similarly, those organisations that miss the deadline for registering as information declarers could face a fine of £500 for each half-hourly electricity meter they fail to declare.
Despite the risk of fines, experts have repeatedly warned that large numbers of organisations are likely to miss the September deadline.