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Act fast to benefit from new carbon kitemark, urges npower

18 August 2010

npower has welcomed the BSI’s new kitemark for energy efficiency but says businesses will need to act fast to realise the full benefit of the standard under the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC)

The new scheme provides UK organisations with a method to independently verify energy and CO2 reductions, adding credibility to any cuts achieved.

The Environment Agency has also approved the scheme as one of the ‘early action metrics’ that contribute to the CRC, which along with AMR will influence how participants are ranked in the CRC league table.

An early action metric takes into account energy saving measures an organisation puts in place before the start of CRC or during the first three years of phase one. During this time, they have an important weighting in league table position so those that implement them could improve their ranking.

If they’re to benefit in full from the kitemark’s inclusion as one of the CRC’s early action metrics, however, npower believes that many organisations will need to ramp up efficiency plans.

Dave Lewis, head of business energy services, says: “The new kitemark is great and just what businesses need in order to verify the emission reductions they’re achieving and we hope it acts as an incentive to move ahead with efficiency plans.

“With the CRC in mind, however, the sooner efficiencies can be achieved under the early action metrics the better, particularly if participants are determined to perform well in the league table. Early action metrics are the only factor being considered in the first league table, but this weighting drops to 40% in year two and only 20% in year three, and after this time league table position will be based purely on emission reduction performance.

“Many are not yet thinking about ongoing efficiency programmes under CRC, mainly because they’re grappling with the complexities of the scheme and simply focusing on registration. This means they could miss out on the early action metrics, and worse, potentially face the reputational impact of a low league table position. Our message is that if they’re to avoid this, they need to put efficiency programmes in place.”

npower points to the speed of registrations as a further indicator of participants’ lack of preparedness for CRC. Environment Agency data released at the beginning of August showed only 22% of the expected 5,000 full participants had registered ahead of the 30th September deadline[1].

Lewis continues: “That so many could need the full six month registration window to complete their submissions suggests many organisations are already on the backfoot. It also suggests organisations may not be actively tracking their energy use from 1 April this year in preparation for the year end footprint report. The longer organisations take to track this, the more challenging the task will become,” he adds.

npower is already supporting some CRC participants with plans for efficiency programmes under its CRC Assist service. This helps businesses create a long term strategy for participation including ongoing efficiency targets. Lewis expects such services to be increasingly valuable as businesses look for expert advice to manage CRC obligations and league table position.

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