Thousands of British firms face fines under CO2 scheme: WSP

More than 7,500 British firms are predicted to miss the September 30 deadline to register for the UK’s new energy efficiency scheme, failure to do so will result in fines of at least 5,000 pounds each, an environmental consultancy said on Tuesday.

The mandatory Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRCEES), which started on April 1, requires businesses to register with the Environment Agency and monitor energy usage.

According to the government, the scheme will help cut annually by 2020 UK greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tonnes and corporate energy bills by 1 billion pounds.

More than 40 per cent of the 20,000 companies affected are not aware of their obligations and will therefore miss the registration deadline, said WSP Environment & Energy, a division of WSP Group.

“Those businesses which are well-organized are finding that registration is not a complicated exercise,” said David Symons, a director at WSP Environment & Energy.

“However, our findings indicate that a lack of awareness and engagement among participants could prevent thousands of companies from complying with the scheme on time.”

In the worst-case scenario, WSP said some 6,000 of the 15,000 lower energy users affected by the scheme, firms that “had at least one half-hourly electricity meter settled on the half-hourly market across the whole organization” in 2008 but consumed less than 6,000 megawatt hours, will fail to make the required information declaration to the agency by September 30.

These firms will then face a one-off fine of at least 500 pounds.

WSP estimated another 1,500 of the 5,000 heavy energy users, firms that had a total half-hourly consumption over 6,000 megawatt hours excluding power used for transport and domestic accommodation, will miss the registration deadline completely.

They face a 5,000 pound fine followed by an additional 500 pounds per working day for up to 80 days. The CRCEES is one of two incentive schemes launched earlier this year which the former Labour government said are key to meeting the UK’s target to cut emissions by 34 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Feed in tariffs were also introduced to spur growth in small-scale, locally produced renewable power.

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