An energy framework designed to tackle the climate change emergency

The climate change emergency was at the front and centre of the news agenda before Covid-19, and even while we are still in the grip of the pandemic, it is an issue that has rightfully refused to go away.

We have found that in our discussions with clients and potential new customers that the drive towards a carbon-neutral position – by 2050, or even 2030 in some cases – is still a key focus.

Figures released by BloombergNEF showed how purchasing green energy contracts rose by 40% on the previous year in 2019, reaching almost 20 gigawatts (GW), and that appetite for change is still there if our experience is anything to go by.

Our Choice Energy Framework is proving to be a popular option for those public sector organisations looking to not only save money in their energy procurement but also be more ethical in the way they power their facilities.

There has been tremendous interest in securing green energy contracts – ones that use wind and solar energy, for example – as opposed to traditional brown energy that relies on fossil fuel power generation.

The Choice Energy Framework involves up to six energy suppliers who have been shortlisted on the basis of tariff competitiveness, billing accuracy, max/min volume threshold restrictions and terms and conditions.

Fixed and flexible contracts will be offered by the suppliers with the length of the contract varying from 12 months to as long as four years.

If you would like to find out more, please contact one of our team on 01225-867722

SECR – don’t delay

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has offered companies the option of a three-month extension before they need to file their financial accounts.

Ordinarily, the information is due on 1st April but for those companies that chose to apply, the deadline has been pushed back to the start of July.

This also applies to the new system for carbon and energy reporting, SECR, which is now included as part of the end-of-year accounts.

Clearly this will be welcomed by some in these challenging economic times, but as SECR is an unfamiliar paradigm with a lot of data to be collected, it would be prudent for companies that do decide to use the extension to still act sooner rather than later.

The new regulations will require an estimated 11,900 companies incorporated in the UK to disclose their energy and carbon emissions – a far greater number than were required to act under the old Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC).

Data gathering

As an external consultancy with expertise in compliance and energy-related legislation, we can collate, analyse and present this sustainability data for you.

Whilst the energy and carbon reporting data is not audited in the same way as a company’s finances at present, this is not to say it won’t happen in the future.

And as climate change is one of the top global issues, it is increasingly likely that companies will be judged by potential customers on their carbon footprint and attitude towards sustainability.

With the information now in the public domain, companies have an interest in reporting their emission figures so that they make sense in the context of their organisation, not least because the data is now in the public domain.

If you would like any advice or help in making sure you are SECR compliant, please get in touch on 01225-867722 or visit our dedicated web page.

Will Boris Johnson warm to the challenges around climate change and energy?

Energy Management’s Jac Stone says Boris Johnson must put climate change and energy at the top of his long ‘to-do list’.

Last week saw the arrival of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, a Brexiteer hellbent on delivering the public vote and leaving the European Union on 31 October, 2019.

While the focus is on the here and the now as people contemplate just how the new man in charge of the country proposes to keep his promise in such a short space of time, his policies over the next few years – presuming he stays at No.10 – will be critical for the Energy Industry.

What next?

Although the UK has recently committed in law to reduced greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, the route to achieve this is completely new territory. In order to meet this ambitious target, work needs to start immediately otherwise we’ll run the risk of missing  out. Couple this with the UK’s outdated energy policy and it’s obvious we cannot afford any delays.

Top of the tree for tasks to complete at Downing Street will be deciding whether to accept the recommendations made by the arrival of the Energy White Paper. The paper, due to arrive imminently, will set out a new framework designed to tackle pressing issues such as developing carbon capture projects, investment in renewable energy and funding of nuclear power stations. All contributing to the aim of meeting net-zero targets.

Making energy and climate change a priority, despite Brexit, would offer greater clarity and support across the whole of Britain. Businesses have already been hit by soaring non-commodity cost rises due to funding for government subsidies and these are projected to continue as the UK experiences its energy transition.

Boris’ Background

To say Johnson’s previous approach to climate change was sub-standard would be an understatement. As an MP he consistently voted against climate change measures and in December 2015, following the signing of the Paris Agreement, Johnson wrote a column for The Daily Telegraph praising the work of notorious climate science denier and brother of the Labour leader, Piers Corbyn, who he called a “great physicist and meteorologist”.

However, the new Prime Minister’s stance seems to have altered as of late. During his stint as Foreign Secretary, he said he would, ‘continue to lobby the U.S. at all levels to continue to take climate change extremely seriously’. He has also voiced his support for the net-zero 2050 target as well as discussing falls in the cost of renewable technologies – and its subsequent growth in the UK.

Where now?

It’s impossible to say where Boris Johnson will head with energy and climate change policy in the next few weeks and months. It will be vital that Brexit does not eclipse upcoming decisions which will be crucial to the net-zero 2050 target.

The new Prime Minister must maintain the momentum that has been building towards achieving the net-zero 2050 target and identify the pathway that will keep the U.K on track. Sufficient government support would ensure a swift and cost-effective transition for everyone.