The Autumn Statement CRC announcement – what we’ve all been waiting for?

After months of waiting and anticipation the Chancellor’s announcement in yesterday’s Autumn Statement will be seen by many as an anticlimax, raising more questions than it answers.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, confirmed that the Government will simplify the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme from 2013. However, frustratingly for those companies affected by CRC, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed that we will have to wait a little longer for details of the simplification. According to DECC’s website this will be “published shortly”. This means companies still do not know how CRC will operate going forward.

Contrary to speculation in the build up to the announcement there is no suggestion in the Autumn Statement that CRC will be replaced with another tax.

One of the surprise announcements regarding CRC is the abolition of the Performance League Table. The Performance League Table was generally considered to be an effective method of encouraging good behaviour as it ranked CRC participants based on their performance against key indicators. Its abolition will not reduce the administrative burden on companies (as the relevant data is taken from the reporting information participants must submit to the Environment Agency). However, we assume that this will lessen the administrative burden of the scheme on the Environment Agency who put the Performance League Table together.

CRC may be here to stay (albeit in a simplified form) for now but beyond 2016 its future looks more uncertain as the Government promises to review its effectiveness in 2016.