Archive for September, 2015

The Conservative Government’s latest energy policy shift – the removal of an exemption for renewable energy generation from the Climate Change Levy – has been likened by Friends of the Earth to “making apple juice pay an alcohol tax”.

The CCL was introduced in 2001 as a tax for non-domestic users on fossil fuel energy with the aim of incentivising energy efficiency and reducing carbon outputs, with the particular aim of boosting clean energy generation at the expense of more polluting sources.

By imposing the CCL on renewable energy it has become just another business energy tax however, one that is expected to raise an additional £450 million a year for the Exchequer while threatening jobs and investment in the UK’s renewable industry.

The impact is already being seen among energy suppliers, a number of whom have withdrawn their green tariffs as the exemption removal has made them uncompetitive.

The policy shift comes at the same time as proposed reductions to the Feed-in-Tariff that could seriously threaten the take-up of photo-voltaic generation, just when grid-parity was in sight.

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With the 5 December 2015 deadline fast approaching the Environment Agency has revealed that only 150 of the estimated 10,000 eligible business have confirmed their compliance.

All UK business with more than 250 employees or £40 million annual turnover and a balance of sheet of over £34 million are required to complete an energy audit. Those failing to meet the deadline could be liable for fines of up to £50,000 plus £500 per day for every day of non-compliance.

With fears that there aren’t enough certified ESOS Lead Assessors companies to meet the backlog, the first priority should be to appoint an Assessor, ideally one experienced in your specific sector who can bring value beyond merely meeting the regulatory requirements.

While there’s speculation that fines could be avoided for late compliance as long as progress is being demonstrated, that’s a risky approach that leaves open the possibility of substantial fines.

The Energy & Carbon Management team are proficient at helping businesses achieve ESOS compliance so do get in touch. In addition to achieving compliance and avoiding penalties, our lead assessors will identify opportunities to reduce energy use, cut consumption and save money.