On 1st April 2010, the government’s CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment) Energy Efficiency legislation came into effect. The legislation applies to companies with at least one electricity meter settled on the half-hourly market. Organisations that use more than 6,000 megawatt-hours of half hourly metered electricity in 2008, equivelant to an electricity bill of about £500,000, will be required to participate in the scheme.
Participants’ emissions are used to rank them in a publicly viewable League table and they are expected to reduce their emissions year on year. The CRC legislation includes civil & criminal charges for non compliance.
By developing a CO2 reduction plan incorporating Solar PV generated electricity companies can:
- reduce their electricity costs, which will be increasingly important as energy costs escalate over time;
- create a commercial opportunity to sell excess production for a higher premium than the Government’s “Export Tariff”;
- demonstrate their commitment to their corporate environmental objectives;
- protect their corporate reputation;
- avoid CRC financial penalties;
- allow customers to identify & select low carbon suppliers of goods & services.
This allows participant companies to gain competitive advantage.
Examples of Business use of renewables:
- Analysts at a major high street retailer, that spent £70m on electricity in 2009, predicted that their electricity costs will increase to £120m over the period 2010 – 2020. Their solution to manage this cost increase was to install Solar PV where ever possible on their stores’ roofs. This is part of their “Plan A”. Source: Ray Noble, Renewable Energy Association.
- An EU wide meat packer with a turnover of >£500m has a site in Huntingdon which consumes £1m of electricity a year. They have 3000m2 of roof area over three factories which could be used to install Solar PV. To do this will cost approx £1.4m and will produce an income of approx £140k a year resulting in payback of investment in approximately 8 years & an annual ROI of 10%.