Regular readers will know that I’ve been tracking the progress of registration for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. This is the cap-and-trade legislation already in force in the UK (see more details here) which requires registration by the end of September. Companies either need to lodge figures for their electricity use or register as full participants in the scheme.
Initially The Environment Agency said that 20,000 companies would simply need to supply details of their electricity use with 5,000 required to join the scheme. But registration has been slow. The chart below shows the situation, with just two weeks left.
The Environment Agency has revised its estimates, though. Seven weeks before the deadline it estimated that in fact just 3-4,000 companies would be actively involved in the scheme ‘as many businesses that qualify for the CRC are owned by larger conglomerates, that incorporate multiple businesses’. It also said that the organisations already registered had reported over half the electricity consumption expected to be included within the scheme. Oddly, two weeks later the Agency reported an increase in registration of scheme participants (from 1200 to 1700) but the total electricity they represented stayed at ‘over half’.
Anyway, by my calculations – based on current registration rates – by the end of September only around 9,000 companies will have declared their energy use and 2,700 will have registered as participants. Given the swingeing penalties for not registering there may well be a lot of companies in for a nasty surprise.
The ICT interest here is that companies taking part in the scheme will need to have the capability to accurately monitor and manage their electricity use in order to minimise the financial (and reputational) impact of the scheme. Those that simply had to register their electricity figures might also have seen the benefit of having a clear process for measuring energy use. It represents a significant opportunity for carbon management solutions and services. It does seem, though, that 20% of the originally expected market is simply not there and a significant proportion don’t realise their obligations.
If the government doesn’t know the potential size and take-up of green legislation it makes it difficult for green ICT suppliers to play their part.