Jenny Holland, Public Affairs & Policy Specialist at UKGBC said:

“We have long called for mandatory public reporting of energy use and emissions in the business sector.  We therefore welcome the proposal at the heart of this consultation that all large UK unquoted companies should report annually to Companies House on their energy use, emissions and an intensity metric.  A key element of the proposed reporting framework is that annual reports will have to be signed off at board/senior management level.  Currently there is insufficient awareness of energy costs and potential savings at the highest levels of business – and the proposed framework should help raise awareness and enable progress tracking.  Potential investors will also be able to make informed decisions based on the energy and carbon data revealed in the annual reports.

“However – while they will deliver much-needed transparency – measurement and reporting will not, on their own, deliver the significant energy saving potential identified in the consultation.  Energy costs are a relatively minor proportion of overall business costs, so there need to be additional carrots and sticks to drive meaningful action.  Among other things, we therefore propose that the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) be made more robust – for example by requiring ESOS audits to be publicly available and by requiring businesses in scope to demonstrate at the next audit that they have acted upon the energy saving opportunities identified in the last.

“We also strongly recommend the mandatory display of operational energy ratings across the commercial sector.  Mirroring the requirement for Display Energy Certificates (DECs) in the public sector – and learning from the success of schemes such as NABERS in Australia – this will be crucial for encouraging ongoing actual energy savings.  It will also serve as a reputational driver, fulfilling a similar function to that originally envisaged for the CRC league tables.”

You can download UKGBC’s response here.

This consultation on streamlined energy & carbon reporting is one of a number of consultations published alongside the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy. UKGBC has already responded to ‘Call for Evidence – Green Deal Framework’ and will be responding to ‘building a market for energy efficiency’. For more information on our policy and advocacy work, please contact Jenny Holland.