After a long wait, we’ve finally got more detail about the government’s proposed Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme.
This will replace the soon-to-be-scrapped Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) for businesses, pending legislative approval.
There’s also news of a Call for Evidence on the best way to help businesses improve energy efficiency, of which more in a minute.
New mandatory reporting to impact many more businesses
From April 2019, large businesses will be required to report on their energy use, emissions and energy efficiency actions each year as part of their company’s annual report.
This requirement will impact far more companies than previous mandatory reporting schemes. Around 11,900 UK companies will need to comply, compared to only 4,000 under CRC and 1,200 under the current Greenhouse Gas Emissions reporting scheme.
Qualifying criteria for the SECR is based on the Companies Act definition of ‘large businesses’ – which is at least 250 employees or annual turnover greater than £36 million and annual balance sheet total greater than £18 million.
Similar but simpler than current requirements
The new reporting framework promises to be simpler than the CRC, albeit with similar criteria.
Key features include:
- Eligible unquoted companies will be required, where practical, to report their UK energy use and associated emissions, as well as an intensity metric.
- Energy use for unquoted companies covers electricity, gas and transport (road, rail, air and shipping) as a minimum.
- UK quoted companies will continue to be required to disclose Scope 1 and 2 emissions, with Scope 3 optional, plus an intensity metric.
- There will be a new requirement for quoted companies to report on global energy use.
- After the first year of qualification, companies will also be required to publish the previous year’s emissions and energy use information alongside the latest figures.
- A ‘narrative commentary’ on energy efficiency action taken in the previous financial year will also be required. But it is not necessary to disclose ESOS recommendations, unless the business decides to do so.
- As some information can be sensitive, there is an exemption from disclosing information which would be seriously prejudicial to the interests of the company.
- Businesses that are covered by a parent company’s report will not be required to report separately.
After some uncertainty, legislation has now been timetabled to end the CRC scheme. And while the new reporting requirements are set to begin from 1 April 2019, companies don’t have to report anything until the end of a complete financial year following this date.
Share your views on improving energy efficiency
At the same time as the SECR details were released, the government also launched a Call for Evidence on ‘Helping Businesses to Improve the Way They Use Energy’.
This is looking at how best to achieve 20% energy efficiency in business and industry by 2030, which is the goal set out in last year’s Clean Growth Strategy.
The government estimates that up to an additional £23 billion in private sector investment will be needed to deliver this level of ambition.
It has identified improving energy efficiency in commercial and industrial buildings as a key focus, plus further improvements in manufacturing processes.
But businesses are now being asked for their views – on the level of ambition, the most appropriate actions to support delivery and plans to measure progress.
The Call for Evidence closes on 26 September and you can find out more and input your views here. [insert link to https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/helping-businesses-to-improve-the-way-they-use-energy-call-for-evidence]
If you want to know more about maximising energy efficiency in your business, it’s worth checking out the expertise and innovations at Energy HQ. [insert link]
We’ll also soon be launching an exciting new interactive site, where you can get a personalised energy cost forecast and identify which measures can save your business at least 20% on energy consumption and spend. So watch this space…