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Consultation aims to simplify energy efficiency policy

The Treasury has published a consultation with the goal of simplifying the energy-efficiency policy landscape for businesses.

In Reforming the business energy efficiency tax landscape, the Treasury proposes to create a system where a single business or organisation faces one tax and one reporting scheme, and in doing so abolish the CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment) – the scheme in which large energy users in the public and private sectors are required to buy allowances for every tonne of carbon they emit.

The policy landscape has been criticised by a number of organisations over its complexity and for diverting resources away from on-the-ground delivery of energy-efficiency improvements. 

UK Green Building Council senior policy adviser Richard Griffiths said: “Moving to a position where organisations are faced with just one key reporting scheme should help to free up organisations’ resources and allow them to focus on delivering energy savings rather than administration. Likewise, rationalising the tax regime could provide a clearer spur for action and help to kick-start commercial retrofit activity after a few relatively flat years.

“But neither of these things will, alone, drive the scale of change that we need to reduce emissions from our buildings. To do that, we need new incentives that significantly strengthen the case for businesses to not only identify energy-saving opportunities but put them into action, and so it’s encouraging to hear that government is open to new ideas in this area – especially in the light of recent cuts to support for renewables.”

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