Ahead of The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change announcing ‘new direction’ plans for meeting the fourth and fifth carbon budgets this year, Carbon Architecture – the group of independent experts who help energy-intensive businesses develop sustainable cost saving strategies – has surveyed businesses across the UK.
“We spoke to hundreds of businesses in industries that are intensive users of energy,” said Carbon Architecture boss Will Todd “and 70% of respondents agreed that Climate Change Agreements are important to ensure that UK businesses remain competitive.
“But when it came to Business Energy Tax,” explained Mr Todd, “there was a significant division of opinion, with half calling for a single tax across all industries while others wanted differential rates for small businesses and those facing international competition.”
Around half (48%) of businesses said they already felt that current energy reporting requirements were ‘too burdensome’ and 55% said the current tax regime failed to encourage them to make energy savings. And when it came to reporting, a resounding 81% said that mandatory reporting should remain an element of driving energy efficiency, but only a disturbing 4% of respondents said they ‘fully understood’ the current energy policy landscape and its impact on their business.
There was 55% support for a call on the government to develop a single reporting scheme requiring all ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) participants to report regularly at board level, and two-thirds (66%) wanted board-level sign off.
“Interestingly, 45% of respondents called upon the government to abolish the Carbon Reduction Commitment with the lost revenue recouped through a higher Climate Change Levy,” said Will Todd, who added, “it’s unsurprising that only 10% of businesses wanted tougher CCA targets, The great majority told us that current targets were already sufficiently challenging to drive energy efficiency improvements in their business! And 90% agreed that government incentives were a good tool to drive additional efficiency and investment in carbon reduction, with tax reliefs and grants being the most popular incentives.”
Carbon Architecture www.carbonarchitecture.co.uk helps energy intensive enterprises in both the public and private sectors manage and minimise their increasing burden of costs and legislative compliance by developing and implementing sustainable cost saving strategies & solutions. Its core focus is waste, energy and water efficiency solutions and clients include NHS, PepsiCo, RedBull, Vimto, Lucozade Ribena, Fullers, Heineken, Adnams, Shepherd Neame, Brains Brewery, Dairy Crest, Mizkan famous brands (including Branston, Sarsons and Haywards), Novelis, Thwaites, The London School of Business & Finance and Deli France.