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Contractor energy efficiency league table published

Contractors have discovered their position on the first CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme league table with Tarmac and Skanska among those leading the way.

The scheme, which has been criticised for being an additional tax on business, sees thousands of companies ranked for details including reports for their usage of electricity, gas, diesel and coal across all of their sites.

For this table, companies’ positions are half-based on the percentage of a company’s portfolio that is covered by one of the seven carbon management schemes which the Environment Agency has accredited and also on the percentage fitted with voluntary automatic meter readers. 

WSP Environment & Energy director David Symons said this means that some companies at the bottom of the table will be more energy efficient or have made greater strides in lowering their emissions than those at the top.

Under the terms of the scheme, participants will have to pay next year for their emissions over the coming year at £12 per tonne. This could lead to the Ministry of Defence needing to spend a massive £21 million on CRC allowances to cover its emissions.

Contractors on the list (plus their league table rank) include:

55: Tarmac Ltd

93: Skanska

203: Carillion

230: BAM Group

300: Laing O’Rourke

342: Travis Perkins

381: Morgan Sindall

- Lend Lease Europe

1,177: Bowmer and Kirkland

1,187: Vinci

1,199: Balfour Beatty PLC

1,218: Costain

1,245: Kier Group

1,259: Interserve

- Shepherd Building group

The Department of Energy and Climate Change state that organisations are eligible for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme if they (and their subsidiaries) have at least one half-hourly electricity meter (HHM) settled on the half-hourly market.

This is the first league table of Carbon Reduction Commitment participants, covering their energy use between April 2010 and March 2011.

From 2011/12 onwards the percentage change in annual CRC emissions will affect the participant’s position in the league table.

UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King said: “The CRC league table is well intentioned and could be an effective means of driving performance, but it doesn’t compare like with like.

“That’s why, for the property sector, we need to see a roll out of display energy certificates showing actual energy use for both landlords and tenants, so we can see who is doing a good job of managing their carbon emissions, and who is not doing their bit to reduce the impact of the UK’s gas-guzzling buildings.”

Carbon Trust Insights strategy manager Eric Lounsbury said the league table is the most direct attempt by policymakers so far to address the ‘simple fact’ that reputational costs and benefits of carbon performance and energy efficiency matter as much as the financial costs and benefits to many organisations.

He added: “We expect this new reputational driver to be an important complement to the price incentives put on carbon through the CRC and EU ETS, building regulations that set a minimum bar for new and refurbished buildings, organisational reporting to improve carbon disclosure, and building labelling that makes the performance of buildings more transparent.”

The scheme was changed in October 2010 to allow the government to retain revenue raised by the scheme which was originally designed with a revenue-recycling incentive so the best-performing companies were rewarded financially by the worst-performing.

WSP Environment & Energy director David Symons said: “Although the government has removed [the intitial] financial carrot, the high profile of the scheme means a great deal of attention will be paid to the best and worst performers, so the stick is still there in the form of possible reputational damage.   

“While the league table will get attention, rather perversely it gives no consideration to the energy efficiency of an organisation, or whether participants have improved their energy performance over the year. This will change for future tables, as a track record of energy performance is built up.”

Mr Symons added:

Nearly 40 per cent of organisations on the list, including major public authorities such as HMRC and the Home Office, have no voluntary half-hourly meters or energy performance accreditation.

Installing the simplest of automatic meter readers, and acting on the data these produce, saves firms around 10 per cent on their energy bills with little capital expense. 

If all of the 800 companies at the bottom of the league table took this simple measure, they would together cut UK carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes, cut £12m off their energy bills and avoid having to buy £1.2m of CRC allowances

Companies are asked a series of tick-box questions including whether they disclose carbon emission reduction targets in annual reporting and whether a named person with management control has been appointed with responsibility for overseeing carbon performance in respect of the firm’s emissions reduction targets and performance against them.

Property advisory firm CBRE was ranked joint first in the league table.

UK managing director Martin Samworth said: “As one of the UK’s largest third-party managers of commercial property, we are responsible for advising clients in ownership or occupation of millions of square feet of property on improving energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions.

“Our ranking in the CRC League table, coupled with us achieving global carbon neutrality in 2010, demonstrates our absolute commitment to the green agenda both for our clients and for our own operations.”

Other notable names on the list include:

Joint 1: Department of Energy & Climate Change

- CBRE

111: Cabinet Office

227: Land Securities

235: British Land

312: Ministry of Defence

330: EDF Energy

1,301: Olympic Delivery Authority

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