CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (the CRC, formerly the Carbon Reduction Commitment)[1] is a mandatory carbon emissions reduction scheme in the United Kingdom that applies to large energy-intensive organisations in the public and private sectors. It has been estimated that the scheme will reduce carbon emissions by 1.2 million tonnes of carbon per year by 2020.[2] In an effort to avoid dangerous climate change, the British Government first committed to cutting UK carbon emissions by 60% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels),[3] and in October 2008 increased this commitment to 80%. The scheme has also been credited with driving up demand for energy-efficient goods and services.[4]

The CRC was announced in the 2007 Energy White Paper, published on 23 May 2007. A consultation in 2006 showed strong support for it to be mandatory, rather than voluntary.[5] The Commitment was introduced under enabling powers in Part 3 of the Climate Change Act 2008.[6] A consultation into the scheme's implementation was launched in June 2007.[2] The Scheme is being introduced under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Order 2010.[7]

The Conservative Government scrapped the scheme 2019 [8].

Crc Energy Efficiency Scheme logo

Performance league table

The first performance league table was published on 8 November 2011. It was based on the scheme's early action metric, which is a measure of good energy management prior to the establishment of an energy baseline.[9] In the future the table will use a growth and an absolute metrics from this baseline. The table is expected to be particularly useful to ethical and green investors.[10] Many notable brands are listed in the League table including the big four supermarkets, Asda (37), Morrisons (56), Tesco (93), and Sainsburys (164).[11] In all 22 organisations shared first position, news stories focused on the fact that Manchester United Football Club was one of those at the top of the table.[12][13][14] It has been announced that after July 2013, these league and performance tables will no longer be published, and will instead be replaced by a publication of participants' energy use and emissions.[15]


The CRC scheme will apply to organisations that have a half-hourly metered electricity consumption greater than 6,000 MWh per year. Organisations qualifying for CRC would have all their energy use covered by the scheme, including emissions from direct energy use as well as electricity purchased.[6] Such organisations - including hotel chains, supermarkets, banks, central government and large Local Authorities - mostly fall below the threshold for the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, but account for around 10% of the UK carbon emissions. Emissions covered by the EU Energy Trading Scheme and by a Climate Change Agreement would be exempt from the CRC, as would organisations with more than 25% of their emissions covered by Climate Change Agreements.[6]

Half-hourly meters (HHM) record electricity consumption for every half-hour of every day, and generally provide this data to the supplier automatically via a telephone connection.[16] Some organisations with high annual energy consumption do not use HHM, as their supplies are mainly on unrestricted or Economy 7 (day/night or 'evening and weekend') tariffs. However, they may nevertheless have to provide 'footprint reports'.[17]

Operating mechanisms

Although mandatory, the CRC will involve self-certification of emissions, backed up by spot audits, as opposed to third-party verification. Emission allowances are to be auctioned rather than grandfathered (as was the case in the initial stages of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme). The original proposal envisaged a revenue recycling mechanism,[18] however this was removed to support the public finances after the comprehensive spending review. The Government announced in the budget the allowance price of £12/tCO2 for the first sale. They have also suggested there should be two fixed price sales in the first year of the scheme.


On 30 June 2011 the Government announced its initial proposals on simplifying the scheme. This came from the dialogue process the Department of Energy and Climate Change had been running from January, which was in response to the concerns of those organisations participating in the scheme that it was overly complex and this made compliance difficult and costly. The draft legislative proposals will be published in early 2012 for formal public consultation which will amend the existing CRC scheme. Among these proposals will be, continuing the fixed price sale (rather than auctions of allowances in a capped system) into the second phase, as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change, provide business with greater flexibility by allowing organisations to participate as natural business units, reducing the number of the fuels which are subject to the scheme from 30 to 4, removing the complex 90% rule and CCA exemption rules, whilst achieving broadly the same outcomes) and reducing overlap with other government schemes such as EU Emission Trading Scheme and Climate Change Agreements.[19]


It has been suggested that the effectiveness of the CRC is limited by its overlap with the EU ETS.[20] Critics argue that as companies reduce their electricity consumption, power stations produce less electricity and so require fewer EU Allowances; other entities covered by the ETS are then able to use these allowances for their own emissions. It has been suggested that allowances should be removed from the ETS in accordance with electricity reductions made under the CRC.[21]

See also

External links


  1. ^ "CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme". DECC. Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  2. ^ a b Action in the UK - Carbon Reduction Commitment Archived 2007-06-26 at the Wayback Machine, DEFRA, published 2007-05-23, accessed 2007-05-23
  3. ^ New Bill and strategy lay foundations for tackling climate change Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, DEFRA, published 2007-03-13, accessed 2007-03-23
  4. ^
  5. ^ Consultation on measures to reduce carbon emissions in the large non-energy intensive business and public sectors Archived 2007-05-31 at the Wayback Machine, DEFRA, published 2006-12-13, accessed 2007-05-23
  6. ^ a b c 2007 Energy White Paper: Meeting the Energy Challenge Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, Department of Trade and Industry, published 2007-05-23, accessed 2007-05-25
  7. ^ Statutory Instrument 2010/768
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2011-11-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Manchester United tops energy efficiency league table". The Guardian. London. 2011-11-08.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2011-11-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2011-11-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme". The Carbon Trust. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  16. ^ Half-hourly metering terms explained, factsheet from EDF Energy. Retrieved 2010-08-18
  17. ^ Meters and metering Archived 2010-05-02 at the Wayback Machine, Environment Agency. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  18. ^ implementation proposals for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Archived 2007-06-26 at the Wayback Machine, DEFRA, published 2008-03-13, accessed 2008-04-05
  19. ^
  20. ^ Kahya, Damian (2011-03-07). "BBC News - Carbon tax 'may not reduce CO2'". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  21. ^ "Carbon Retirement report: Maximising the efficiency of the CRC". 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
British Energy Efficiency Federation

The British Energy Efficiency Federation (or BEEF) was founded in 1996 by the United Kingdom Government to provide a forum for consultation between existing industry associations in the energy sector.

Carbon governance in England

The reduction of carbon emissions, along with other greenhouse gases (GHGs), has become a vitally important task of international, national and local actors. If we understand governance as the creation of “conditions for ordered rule and collective action” then, given the fact that the reduction of carbon emissions will require concerted collective action, it follows that the governance of carbon will be of paramount concern. We have seen numerous international conferences over the past 20 years tasked with finding a way of facilitating this, and while international agreements have been infamously difficult to reach, action at the national level has been much more effective. In the UK, the Climate Change Act 2008 committed the government to meeting significant carbon reduction targets. In England, these carbon emissions are governed using numerous different instruments, which involve a variety of actors. While it has been argued by authors like Rhodes that there has been a “hollowing out” of the nation state, and that governments have lost their capabilities to govern to a variety of non-state actors and the European Union, the case of carbon governance in England actually runs counter to this. The government body responsible for the task, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), is the “main external dynamic” behind governing actions in this area, and “rather than hollowing out (there has actually been a strengthening of) central co-ordination”. The department may rely on other bodies to deliver its desired outcomes, but it is still ultimately responsible for the imposition of the rules and regulations that “steer (carbon) governmental action at the national level”. It is therefore evident that carbon governance in England is hierarchical in nature, in that “legislative decisions and executive decisions” are the main dynamic behind carbon governance action. This does not deny the existence of a network of bodies around DECC who are part of the process, but they are supplementary actors who are steered by central decisions. This article focuses on carbon governance in England as the other countries of the UK (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) all have devolved assemblies who are responsible for the governance of carbon emissions in their respective countries.

Coal Authority

The Coal Authority is a non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom government.

Committee on Climate Change

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is an independent non-departmental public body, formed under the Climate Change Act (2008) to advise the United Kingdom and devolved Governments and Parliaments on tackling and preparing for climate change. The Committee provides advice on setting carbon budgets (for the UK Government carbon budgets are designed to place a limit or ceiling on the level of economy-wide emissions that can be emitted in a five-year period), and reports regularly to the Parliaments and Assemblies on the progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As of May 2019 not yet made into law, the CCC has recommended net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the United Kingdom by 2050 and the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has said it would be affordable. However some environmental groups, such as Extinction Rebellion, are calling for a more ambitious target.

Energy Institute

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Energy Retail Association

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Energy conservation in the United Kingdom

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Much of the emphasis in energy debates tends to focus on the supply side of the issue, and ignore the demand. A number of commentators are concerned that this is being largely overlooked, partly due to the strength of the energy industry lobby. Energy conservation also has great potential, and may be able to significantly cut the size of the supposed energy gap, if early and concerted action is taken.

Franco-British Nuclear Forum

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Hugo Charlton

Hugo Charlton is a practising criminal barrister, international human rights lawyer, environmental activist, broadcaster and commentator. He was Chair of the Green Party of England and Wales from 2003 to 2005. Though he is no longer active in the Green Party, Charlton continues to speak on environmental and human rights issues, in particular on issues concerning climate change and its reduction through the prevention of deforestation, and on the right to self-determination for indigenous peoples. He is also an expert on the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and an advisor on clean technology solutions. He has worked for many years in support of the Kurdish community in the Middle East.

New Electricity Trading Arrangements

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Opus Energy

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Regal Petroleum

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Score Group plc

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Sunbury Research Centre

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UK Power Networks

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In 2014 UK Power Networks was awarded £25 million from the electricity regulator Ofgem's Low Carbon Networks Fund for the Low Carbon London project. In 2011 it was awarded £6.7 million by Ofgem for another project, Flexible Plug and Play, which is researching new ways, technical and commercial, to connect renewable energy to the distribution network in Cambridgeshire.

As well as the three distribution arms UK Power Networks also operates UK Power Networks Services Holdings Limited, which develops and maintains electrical networks for clients including London Underground, Heathrow and Stansted airports, Docklands Light Railway and Canary Wharf.

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In 2008, the UK was the world's 9th greatest producer of man-made carbon emissions, producing around 1.8% of the global total generated from fossil fuels.


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Western Power Distribution is a subsidiary of the American utility corporation PPL.

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