Wednesday, 1 September 2010

British Firms Face Heavy Fines As Carbon Deadline Nears

Hundreds of blue chip firms face heavy fines for failing to comply with new
carbon emission regulations.

With a little over one month to go before the registration deadline, the
Energy Agency estimates that of about 4,000 large businesses and other
commercial organisations that qualify, only 1,229 have registered under the
Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme.

Failure to register by 30 September will land a company with an initial fine
of £5,000 plus a further £500 per day up to a maximum of £45,000 until it

The Agency cites a further grouping of 15,000 lower-energy users that have
to make an "information disclosure" under the scheme, launched last April
with a six-month bedding-in period towards the deadline.

Tony Fisher, managing director of Greenocity, a consultancy specialising in
IT-related commercial energy use, said general business knowledge of the CRC
scheme is low.

Yet large firms ignoring the scheme are the heaviest users of energy,
especially where it involves the top three sources of daily consumption: air
conditioning, lighting and power consumed by electronic equipment.

Fisher said: "This lack of IT awareness is shocking. Organisations will miss
vital opportunities to reduce their energy bills and CO2 emissions."

A Gartner survey shows that green issues during the recession represented a
"shock wave" for industry and business in general when it came to

Rakesh Kumar, a research vice-president, said firms had diverted their
attention away from green IT projects to save money and last year had been a
"gap year" for such initiatives. ...

A Cisco-sponsored survey a year ago warned that IT managers were deeply
concerned over their inability to deliver on carbon-neutral targets.

Cisco's UK & Ireland networking technology specialist Neil Crockett said
that where green IT projects were being undertaken they tended to focus on
established technologies.

More cutting-edge projects, such as home-working, building energy management
and server virtualisation, remained rare.

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