Barker to talk up CRC changes

Energy Minister Gregory Barker will be the keynote speaker at an event this week to discuss simplifying the CRC. The Department of Energy & Climate Change is holding the seminar […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Energy Minister Gregory Barker will be the keynote speaker at an event this week to discuss simplifying the CRC.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change is holding the seminar to gather industry views in advance of government proposals for the scheme, which will factor-in other energy initiatives such as the Electricity Market Reform, the Green Deal and feed-in-tariffs. The event takes place on Thursday in London.

DECC is also inviting feedback on several areas of the CRC that will be under review, including private sector rules, qualification criteria, and the frequency of allowances. Interested parties have until March 11 to get their views to the government.

The CRC, a mandatory scheme to improve energy efficiency in large public and private sector organisations, has had a chequered history. Companies that use a certain amount of energy had no choice but to register for the scheme by last September, and registration required precise paperwork and a fee.

This fee was originally intended to be recycled back to participants to further help them cut their carbon use, but in October the government stunned many in the energy industry by revealing the cash would go into Westminster’s purse, thereby making the CRC a straightforward tax.

And despite much pre-publicity and the threat of fines, many companies failed to register by the deadline. To date, 2,770 organisations have registered.