In April, then Chancellor George Osborne announced the results of the business energy efficiency tax review, scrapping the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) and increasing the cost of the Climate Change Levy (CCL) to recoup the revenue that CRC generated for HM Treasury.
The review also looked at the administrative burden placed on businesses thanks to the multitude of reporting requirements to which many energy users must adhere. It was announced that a ‘simplified energy and carbon reporting framework’ would be introduced by April 2019 – but a further consultation would be launched to determine the detail.
Fast forward four months and no further information has emerged. The fall-out of the Brexit referendum, a new Prime Minister, and the merger of DECC and BIS into the newly formed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has understandably thrown plans off track – but with forward planning a necessity in energy, greater clarity is needed.
In a recent survey of business energy users by Inenco, 80% called on Government to deliver more long term certainty by setting out a policy framework for energy and climate change.
62% of businesses wanted Government to prioritise the publication of its preferences for the reporting framework to allow them to have their say on what is the most suitable solution – as well as enabling them to plan the resource needed to manage reporting requirements in the medium to long term.
71% also called for a swift decision on what grants or incentives will be made available for energy efficiency measures, hinted at by Government as an important way to make sure businesses were taking steps to reduce their carbon and consumption.
Building the business case
Whilst the future of business energy reporting and funding is still unknown, there are still steps that can be taken during uncertain times.
The energy audits conducted as part of ESOS will have identified a whole raft of energy reduction opportunities that can be acted upon.
Working with an expert to prioritise these, from identifying the low hanging fruit to identifying the most advantageous measures to implement, means that your business will be in the best position to act quickly upon any funding that becomes available.
There will also be opportunities identified that offer benefits strong enough to build a business case around, regardless of external grants. You can find out more about finding the funds to enact change here. Inenco has a whole host of sector experts on hand to help work through your business’ ESOS recommendations to prioritise and identify where to start – get in touch today to find out how we can help you.
Keep abreast of changes
The Government has still committed to holding a consultation on its preferences for a single reporting framework. To be the first to hear more about this as soon as any information is made available, sign up on the ESOS Hub homepage – we’ll keep you posted with updates from BEIS and make sure you have your say on the proposals.