CRC still confusing business

Posted on 29 Sep 2010 by The Manufacturer

One in five businesses registering for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) may not have submitted the correct information.

According to experts at energy firm npower, which conducted the research, this not only highlights the confusion still felt by businesses ahead of today’s registration deadline, it also means many organisations could face longer term problems under the scheme.

The study of 100 UK financial directors – which was conducted just two weeks before the 30 September registration deadline – also showed that nearly a quarter (22%) had not completed their registration, and of those that had, 23% found the process confusing.

With a large proportion of businesses admitting to leaving registration to the last minute, many may have missed the deadline. Almost 25% of respondants also reported issues with compiling data from multiple sites across their business, and more than one in 10 didn’t fully understand what was required of them to complete registration. In addition, one in five financial directors were unaware of any guidance or advice available about the CRC or said they had to do their own research.

Dave Lewis, head of business energy services at npower, saids: “This research shows that worryingly businesses [found] the registration process confusing. If collecting the required information together was problematic, then going forward, many may well find the ongoing obligations of the scheme equally challenging.

“This confusion could also explain the high number of businesses that have left completing registration to the last minute and are unsure if they have submitted the correct data. We worked with a number of businesses to support their registration and part of the problem is that many failed to appreciate the full scale of the task.

“Submitting inaccurate data could have a longer term impact meaning it will make forecasting emissions for purchasing allowances in April 2011 even more challenging. With the first league tables due to be published in October 2011, this could be costly – both in terms of money and reputation.”

The research also showed that one in five financial directors don’t understand what is required of them for forecasting carbon allowances or the purchasing of allowances, although encouragingly, 95% said they have been tracking energy consumption since April 2010 – which will help with submission of the first ‘footprint’ year report to the Environment Agency.