The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said that a lack of data on business energy efficiency measures is contributing towards the “big challenge” surrounding it.
Speaking to Clean Energy News, Mike Thompson, head of carbon budgets at the CCC, said the government has traditionally held “really poor” data on energy efficiency measures adopted by businesses.
“We don’t really know how much has been done and who’s done what. We do know that there’s a lot of potential however, as we can look at individual examples of specific companies that have made massive improvements to their energy efficiency,” Thompson said.
He added however that this “clearly hasn’t been replicated across the stock”, with a large number of businesses still understood to be behind in their efficiency improvements.
Last month’s ESOS deadline passed with thousands of firms still yet to comply or issue the Environment Agency with intent to comply notes. These firms are now at risk of an upfront fine and daily penalties until they fall in line with the mandatory scheme.
Thompson said the CCC was watching the business energy efficiency policy reset carefully. “What we want to see coming out of that is essentially a policy that deals with all the barriers – not just the financial ones – but also the management ones, getting enough interest at board level,” he said.
As well as the ongoing reset of efficiency support schemes such as the non-domestic RHI, the new feed-in tariff and others, the government has committed to overhauling the way in which businesses report their carbon emissions and efficiency measures.
The previous system saw a multitude of reporting measures that often overlapped, resulting in what some businesses bemoaned was a convoluted and confusing reporting system.
The full details of the overhaul are not expected until chancellor George Osborne’s budget next month, however the Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme is one measure that could be abolished altogether to make way for a unified reporting framework.
Thompson said that this, alongside more widespread compliance with ESOS, could help resolve the lack of data at government level.
“They could help, and I think we would like to see a continuation on the kind of reporting angle – that this is not just about incentives and carbon prices and so on, this is also about the information and transparency. But we don’t want to see a profusion of mechanisms to do that, we want one mechanism to handle the data reporting and transparency side of it,” he said.