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UK Firms Face Carbon Emissions Fines

UK businesses are facing hefty fines for failing to comply with new carbon emission regulations under the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy-efficiency scheme, reports Business.Scotsman.com.

The Energy Agency estimates that only 1,229 out of about 4,000 large businesses and other commercial organizations that qualify have registered under CRC. If companies fail to register by the September 30 deadline, the will have to pay an initial fine of £5,000 (about $7,788) plus an additional £500 (about $780) per day up to a maximum of £45,000 ($70,000) until they comply.

The Agency also says an additional 15,000 lower-energy users have to make an “information disclosure” under the scheme, according to the article.

“The CRC is hardly new news — the CRC has been widely debated in the industry for sometime, so in our view lack of preparation is not going to wash. Companies have had plenty of time prepare,” said Alan O’Brien, CEO at Sabien Technology, in a statement.

Some analysts don’t agree. Tony Fisher, managing director of Greenocity, a consultancy specializing in IT-related commercial energy use, told the newspaper that general business knowledge of the CRC scheme is low.

According to Rakesh Kumar, a research vice-president for Gartner, companies diverted their attention away from “green’ IT projects to save money and last year had been a “gap year” for green IT initiatives, reports Business.Scotsman.com.

Sabien’s O’Brien says the real challenge will come in April 2011 as organizations need to demonstrate year-on-year reductions and buy their allowances.

The CRC legislation is designed to encourage investment in technology to reduce carbon emissions and to help the UK meet its 2020 target of a 34 percent reduction, and will create a carbon market worth £600m (about $780 million) a year, according to Sabien.

PricewaterhouseCoopers offers a guide for UK firms that must comply with carbon emissions reporting in the UK’s CRC legislation.

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