CRC names and shames big energy users

Posted on 9 Nov 2011 by The Manufacturer

The Environment Agency unveiled a new league table yesterday ranking over 2,000 organisations according to how they manage energy use under the Carbon Reduction Commitment.

The table revealed that six out of 10 organisations have been awarded commendable energy management accreditations. British American Tobacco, Centre Parcs and Manchester United were among the companies and organisations that won the joint top spot.

The league table also shamed well known brands including surprises such as Virgin Atlantic, Vue Cinemas and Welcome Break for their lack of action on efforts to achieve greater energy efficiency.

Speaking to The Manufacturer, David Symons, director at global environmental consultancy WSP Environment & Energy, commented that companies were wasting money not taking action.

“Nearly 40% of organisations in the list, including major public authorities such as HMRC and the Home Office, have no voluntary half-hourly meters or energy performance accreditation,” he said.

“Installing the simplest of automatic meter readers, and acting on the data these produce, saves firms around 10% on their energy bills with little capital expense,” he added.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme, launched last year, requires large public and private sector organisations to purchase allowances beginning 2012 to cover emissions produced from their usage of electricity and heat.

Mr Symons added that achieving a good position in the league table is generally easier for organisations with fewer sites.

“Organisations such as Manchester United, Bishopsgate Management and Slaughter & May will have found it easier to perform well since they’ll only have had to achieve the early action metrics for one or two sites.”

Symons explained that it makes the achievements of large organisations with many sites much more impressive.

“Companies such as BT and the Cooperative, who both finish in joint 44th spot, are to be especially congratulated,” he said.

Some commentators have criticised the league table for being overly bureaucratic and the British Retail Consortium has called for it to be scrapped.

Angela Needle, head of energy consultancy at British Gas Business disagrees, adding: “The league table is a step in the right direction towards the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme becoming a force for enabling businesses to adapt the way they manage their energy use, reduce carbon emissions and control costs.

“Over half of businesses have installed a smart meter or been accredited by the Carbon Trust for their energy management which is a good sign. The response has been positive across all sectors and not just high-profile organisations.”

Shelley DeBere