Carbon emissions are the measure of global warming and national governments continue to amend and introduce legislation to reduce such emissions, which can only be delivered by producers and end users of energy. Whilst power generation in the UK is moving progressively away from carbon emitting fossil fuels it is the end users that can make real change by reducing energy consumption, and where Incentive Carbon can assist in making a difference.
The Energy Shift
The UK and EU have made significant progress in moving away from fossil fuels to sustainable and renewable sources but still rely heavily on gas to deliver heat and on oil and gas for generating electricity for the national grid. Whilst associated CO2 emissions for grid sourced electricity has dropped, the cost per kWh has continued to steadily rise. In June 2017 the UK achieved its first day where electricity generated from solar, wind and hydro renewables was higher than from fossil fuels, which included contribution from end user sourced on site generation. Since that date there has been a steady move to renewables which has also led to a reduction in the carbon content of grid electricity.
Globally, whilst oil prices are volatile from economic and political tensions, fracking and the increase in alternative energy, the impact of climate change remains ever prominent and relevant, and will continue to be penalised via fuel levies and taxation. Reducing your organisation’s use of fuel has the benefits of helping to reduce carbon emissions, contribute to sustainability and deliver significant financial savings.
The UK Government, via the Climate Change Act 2008, introduced the world’s first legally binding climate change target, aiming to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below the 1990 baseline by 2050. Businesses and Industries account for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions so in support of the CCA target to decarbonise the economy, energy related legislation is being reviewed to rationalise mandatory reporting requirements.
The Carbon Reduction Commitment CRC (affects large users of electricity) will cease to exist after 2019, but the revenue from that scheme will still be collected – most likely via the Climate Change Levy (CCL) payments that are added directly to utility bills, which have already been set for significant increase in 2019, so costs of gas and electricity will rise. This levy, essentially penalises fossil fuel usage and encourages the use of renewable and sustainable sources of energy.
Other significant legislation is the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Regulations 2014 requiring large organisations to audit their energy consumption over four year periods. Identifying areas of significant improvements with life cycle costing instead of simple payback. ESOS reports may become the foundation norm for mandatory energy/carbon reporting requirements.
In line with the closure of the CRC scheme, a new “Simplified Energy and Carbon Reporting” (SECR) requirement was introduces in April 2019 requiring large organisations to include details of their energy consumption, and what measures they have undertaken to reduces such, in their annual directors’ reports.
Also, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) – from 1st April 2018, under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, buildings with an EPC rating of less the ‘E’ will not be able to be entered into a new leasing agreement unless there is a suitable improvement plan in place to improve the energy efficiency. This requirement will extend to all existing non-domestic leased properties from April 2023.
Many organisations are looking to demonstrate their Green Credentials, for a mixture of reasons, including legislative compliance and Corporate Social Responsibility (for which environmental issues are one of the three main strands). Increasingly, commercial organisations are asking for information relating to energy and environmental performance from their supply chain, evident in tenders and performance reviews.
Proactive Carbon Management
Incentive Carbon Management is a division of Incentive FM Group, established to provide commercial organisations with advice and support on energy and water efficiency management to meet their obligations under various relevant legislation (such as ESOS and SECR), to reduce consumption and bills, and to meet CSR aspirations. Our reports often find solutions that require no capital investment – usually by behavioural shifts or better use of existing technology and controls infrastructure. For improvement that do require investment we identify these in short, medium and long term payback with life cycle forecasts for significant improvement opportunities.
Engaging Incentive Carbon Management gives your organisation a central focal point for all carbon, energy and environmental management activities. We take your organisation on a journey from initial benchmarking, through consultancy to implementation; each step of the way is risk assessed and managed to minimise disruption and assure business continuity. The comprehensive approach extends to encompass every link of your supply chain ensuring supply chain members contribute to the overall plan; we take ownership of and responsibility for all warranties and guarantees for equipment and services provided by third parties.
• Full compliance and carbon benchmarking audit and report
• Identify and agree areas for action and develop the proposal
• Finalise the project plan and appoint a project manager
• Generate funding options and access subsidies and grants
• Appoint specialists from our pre-approved sustainable supply chain
• Retrofit or install our carbon reduction technology and reporting systems
Key benefits include; meeting CSR targets, lower energy and utility bills and a reduced carbon footprint.
The majority of businesses are affected by energy related legislation requiring improvement opportunities to be identified with a costed analysis. Also under SECR, large businesses are required to report on their carbon emissions, associated with energy usage, as part of their directors’ report. Experience shows we can identify significant reductions in energy usage, and hence cost, by undertaking energy audits.
For further information please contact us.