The British Government has introduced two carbon cutting incentive schemes that will see homes and businesses playing a key role in contributing to UK emissions reductions of at least 34% on 1990 levels by 2020 through improved energy efficiency and small-scale low-carbon electricity.
The Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC EES) for organisations and Feed in tariffs (FITs) will help to save money on fuel bills, reduce carbon emissions and generate their own low-carbon electricity.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, said, “From today the rewards for businesses and householders who act to cut their carbon emissions really start to pay off. It’s no longer simply about doing the right thing for the environment, it’s now a sure-fire financial investment.
“The UK is leading the way in tackling climate change. Organisations and householders can play a central role in leading the move to a low carbon economy whilst saving money on their energy bills.”
The offering to business – CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme
The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme launched is aimed at saving public and private sector organisations around £1billion ($1.52 billion) per year by 2020 through cost effective energy efficiency measures that are not yet being taken up.
The aim of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is to help change behaviour and will require large public and private sector organisations like supermarkets, hotels, hospitals, local authorities and central government departments, to improve their energy efficiency.
Participants’ performance will be published in the form of a league table.
All revenue raised from the sale of emissions allowances will be recycled back to participants with those who have increased efficiency receiving more of this money. Customers, clients and competitors will also to see that their organization is a leader in tackling climate change. They will be able to generate further income from selling any unused permits.
Though the scheme officially launches today organisations have until September to register. Businesses can start saving on their bills immediately through implementing cost effective energy efficiency measures. By 2020 the scheme is expected to have delivered emissions savings of at least 4.4 million tons of CO2 per year.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Environment Agency, which will be running the scheme, has hosted more than 115 events to raise awareness about the scheme as well as running regional workshops and speaking events.
The offering to consumers – FITs
Individuals, organisations or businesses in England, Wales and Scotland who install low carbon electricity generation could benefit from FITs:
• They will be paid money for every unit of electricity they generate.
• They will get an extra 3 pence/kWh (4.57-cents/kWh)( for every unit they don’t use that is exported to the grid.
• They can also benefit from a reduced electricity bill where they use the electricity that they generate rather than having to buy all they need from the grid.
A typical 2.5kW, well sited solar PV Installation could offer savings of £140 ($198) a year plus earnings of £900 ($1,370) a year.
In addition to providing a contribution to meeting the 2020 Renewable Energy Target, the FITs will enable broad participation of individuals and communities in the shift towards a low carbon economy.
The feed-in tariff is a win-win for consumers. They will be paid for any electricity they generate themselves from low carbon sources and benefit from a cheaper electricity bill.
Significant progress has already been made since the Low Carbon Transition Plan was published in July 2009, including in the key sectors of power generation, buildings and industry, and transport. The Government’s legally-binding ‘carbon budgets’ push the pace of change. UK emissions are already 22% down on 1990 levels. By 2020 they must be 34% less, on the way to 80% less by 2050.
Government is also setting an example, it is on course for reducing emissions from central Government offices by over 17% by 2011, exceeding the original target of 12.5%. It aims to save up to £300 million ($457 million) through energy saving measures across the public sector.
The Government will soon publish the ‘2050 Pathways’ work, identifying routes to deliver our 80% reduction target in emissions by 2050, while meeting energy security goals.