Last week, the UK Government announced plans to review the business energy tax landscape to consider approaches to simplify and improve the effectiveness of the regime.
This message was circulated to all CRC, Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme and Climate Change Agreement participants (who have been further advised to continue to participate in the various schemes until further notice).
This news is in part welcome but also worrying. Current energy legislation is confused and uncoordinated – this must be addressed.
By way of example, last year, the Government issued consultation on plans to (amongst other options) scrap use of Display Energy Certificates. At the same time the ESOS scheme was in process of being rolled out. One of the core compliance approaches referenced in ESOS is … use of Display Energy Certificates!
The structure of regulatory requirements surrounding energy is confusing and a revised coordinated, and structured approach designed to help business understand energy and carbon emissions, whilst appropriately incentivising improvement, would be welcome from me.
However, over-simplification will ultimately make UK business less competitive. Furthermore, if the Government take a similar approach to that taken for Zero Carbon homes plans last week (i.e. scrapping everything) then we should be very worried indeed.
The Government has committed to launching a formal consultation in the autumn and I strongly encourage participation.