In the summer we will be hearing about the plans for the biggest energy tax reform for business. My recommendation is - act now - don't wait! The March 2016 budget highlighted a few areas including: 1) Abolishment of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme 2) Increase in Climate Change Levy (CCL) and rebalance of rates 3) No change to existing Climate Change Agreement (CCA) scheme until at least 2023. 4) No change to the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) So what else? The Government has also announced that a new single reporting framework will exist. This will be consulted on in the summer and will combine the existing CCA, EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS), ESOS and others into one framework. So what does this mean for your business? It is simple really. You will be required to combine all of your current carbon and environmental reporting schemes into one. In reality this is complex because as we all know through the implementation of the above schemes over the years; data exists in different formats, in different divisions, in different languages with different people. There lies the challenge in creating a single reporting framework. So what is the solution? As I see it you have two options (1) wait until the announcement is made and then decide what to do or (2) start now by proactively undertaking a data collection exercise and “gap analysis” of your business and highlighting the weaknesses in data collection. My recommendation - don't wait Start to really understanding your business now by identifying the data gaps within. This will save you time and money in the future and assist the single frame transition. In addition and as a positive by product you will more than likely find that there are opportunities to save money by improving existing processes. This is exactly the finding in the 40+ ESOS assessments I have just completed. More about our Energy Expert: Dr Stephen Finnegan is a University Lecturer and ESOS consultant at the University of Liverpool and an editorial board member on sustainability for the RICS
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