Thursday, July 29, 2010

More on CRC

944 down, 9 weeks to go - Registration: use an agent - how safe is saved? - online guide - Last call for disaggregation - EAM: Kitemark Energy Reduction Verification scheme; don’t forget gas meters - Help the helpdesk - Is your guidance up to date? - Chris Huhne has seen our energy future, but you can make up your own mind on the DECC website - You too can have an energy monitor like DECC - Next CRC Webinar

944 organisations had registered as full participants for CRC by 27th July. Original estimates were a total of 5,000; some people have calculated as many as 12,000, so on the face of it with only 9 weeks to go the situation looks pretty dire. The reality is somewhat different. Many organisations are gathering their data in stages and have already started the registration process. Beware, however, if you are one of those who has started and saved, that the system only stores incomplete registrations for 30 days and after that they are irrevocably deleted.

If you are still not sure about how to approach registration there are two detailed guidance documents showing showing shots of each screen at each stage of the process. This one is for private sector organisations and this one is for the public sector: . Of course these only show you how to enter the data. If you have issues with getting the data together Cyber Associates can help and can handle registration as your agent.

Of the remaining 15,000 or so organisations that must make an information disclosure but are not full participants, some 3,900 have registered. If your organisation comes into the disclosure category don’t miss the deadline. There are penalties for you, too!

The deadline for disaggregation is 31st July, which in practical terms means tomorrow. If you don’t know about disaggregation, don’t worry. You’re too late. (Special rules apply for the public sector.)

Early Action Metric. The Environment Agency has now approved the Kitemark Energy Reduction Verification scheme to count towards the Early Action Metric. This is based on the new BS EN 16001 Energy Management Standard. You now have a choice of this, CEMARS or the Carbon Trust Standard. Get any of these in place by 31st March 2011 to qualify.

Voluntary AMRs complete the other part of the Early Action Metric. As noted before, it’s the percentage of total annual energy that goes through the meter in 2010/11 that is taken into account, so the sooner you instal the AMRs the greater the benefit. And gas meters also qualify.

There are signs that the CRC Helpdesk, not surprisingly, is coming under increasing pressure. Of course there are extensive guidance documents on the website, but some people have raised concerns that they don’t carry version numbers. From time to time they are updated, so how do you know that you are referring to the latest edition? Document properties should give you the creation and modification dates, though that won’t tell you what’s changed. (I suppose you could open two versions in Word and get it to do a document comparison, but you really shouldn’t have to do that!)

This week Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, presented his first Annual Energy Statement to Parliament. His objectives are to keep the lights burning and to meet the 80% carbon footprint reduction by 2050. The model which his department has used, balancing supply against demand, is available for anyone to work with at What is most revealing is the sort of changes we will need to make to achieve these targets - including heating homes to no more than 17°C, reducing our use of gas, installing micro wind generation on 450,000 properties and extensive use of electric and fuel-cell cars and vans. Fascinating! Realistic? You decide.

Incidentally, if you go to the DECC website you will see that they are displaying the energy consumption and carbon footprint of their HQ building in real time. I wish I could say that it’s an example of the work of our strategic partner, NoWatt, but it’s not. In fact NoWatt does better than that: it can report not just to the nearest building, but to the nearest floor, department, circuit or appliance. It’s a key tool for managing energy efficiency and for feeding back to all groups of staff to show how they are doing and to reinforce their engagement with energy saving.

I’ll be presenting the next CRC webinars for the Low Carbon Best Practice Exchange on 7th and 14th September. You can find full details at

This content is available as a podcast at And if you want to talk to me live about any of this, I’m available at on 07803 616877

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CRC Update

More than 4,000 organisations still to register - less than 12 weeks to the 30th September cut-off - more time for disaggregation - PFI: who’s responsible? - landlord and tenant - Early Action Metric - monitoring carbon footprint - buying allowances - evidence pack and audit - super-smart metering to save energy and save cost.

The total number of CRC full participants was estimated at 5,000 and according to the Environment Agency only 651 have so far registered. That leaves less than 12 weeks for the remaining 4,349 to complete the process by 30th September. Of course you may already have started, but if you’re waiting to clear up some minor query or you have some doubts about your particular case the Environment Agency urges you to register now and sort out queries and errors later. No doubt there will be increasing pressure on the system as we get closer to the cut-off.

Good news if you were planning for disaggregation. The Environment Agency has extended the initial deadline until 31st July, although all your SGUs still have to be registered on their own account by 30th September.

Some organisations operate facilities provided under PFI and the PFI company has claimed that the organisation which uses the facilities is responsible. The Environment Agency has now made it clear that the “counterparty to the supply contract” principle applies, so if the PFI company is paying the bill then the PFI company is the participant.

CRC remains an issue for landlords. Remember, if you bought more than 6,000MWh of half-hourly electricity in 2008 you are a full participant even if you sold that electricity on to your tenants. When we get to the reporting phase, the landlord is responsible for reporting the total carbon footprint from all energy sources, including energy used by tenants. Can you negotiate an amendment to the lease? The CRC legislation gives you obligations, but no additional rights vis-à-vis the tenant.

If you are a tenant and taking steps to improve your energy efficiency, will the landlord pass on the benefit of lower CRC costs to you? Again, can you re-negotiate the lease?

Your Performance League Table position and your total CRC cost are both affected by the Early Action Metric and it’s not too late to get the benefit. The earlier you put in voluntary AMRs (automatic meter reading) the better, because the benefit is calculated on the proportion of your total energy that flows through them in 2010/11. Don’t forget gas meters. You have until 31st March 2011 to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard. As long as you have it in place by that date you qualify in full. The Environment Agency has just approved CEMARS as an alternative to the Carbon Trust Standard. Other standards are under review.

Quite apart from the Early Action Metric and your league table position, the surest way to reduce your CRC costs is to improve your energy efficiency and cut your energy bills. Have I told you about the super-smart metering that gives you instant feedback and detailed analysis for close cost control? Give me a call on 07803 616877 and I’ll tell you more!

Once registration is complete the next task is to prepare for the annual report and for the purchase of carbon allowances in April 2011. You need to have an evidence pack, and 20% of all participants will be audited. Have you been monitoring your carbon footprint since April? Have you got detailed records and an audit trail?

If you would like to discuss any of these points in more detail please give me a call on my direct line: 07803 616877. Together with strategic partners, Cyber Associates can help and advise on CRC registration, obtaining benefit from the Early Action Metric, monitoring your carbon footprint and establishing an employee engagement programme to maximise your energy efficiency.

I look forward to talking to you!

Best wishes,

Anthony Day

PS NoWatt, our super-smart metering partners, have a window in August due to customer holidays. If you want a rapid assessment and installation we can help you to start saving money on energy in a matter of weeks. Call me on 07803 616877!