With the first organisations scheduled to pay the new climate change levy in 2012, many are anxious about what effect the change of government will have on the measures intended to force UK industry to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Unfortunately, the answer appears to be “wait and see” as the Carbon Reduction Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment) introduced in April 2010 was afforded just one small paragraph in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
Under the original scheme, british businesses with energy use above 6000MWh of electricity that were not subject to any other energy efficiency scheme would be charged a levy to discourage heavy energy usage. This was billed as being a central part of the UK’s strategy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in line with our commitments under the climate change Act 2008. As the scheme was ostensibly designed to encourage changes in behaviour and infrastructure, firms could apply for a sizeable proportion of the charge to be returned in exchange for implementing certain energy-saving measures.
The coalition government has committed to simplify the scheme to reduce the burden on businesses. While the details are still under discussion, from what we know of the new-look scheme, it seems that while the charges are still in place the rebate mechanism has now been removed entirely (presumably under the guise of simplification).
SunGard experts are keeping a close watch on the developing situation and any further announcements from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), which may lead to further legislation. But it seems inevitable that the government intends to levy an additional charge on industry calculated on the basis of past energy usage.
Whatever form the scheme ultimately takes, it will strengthen the argument for buying into a shared infrastructure that services multiple organisations, which is inherently a ‘greener’ and cheaper way to provide computing and workplace recovery than individual companies trying to buy, resource and power their own standby facilities.