The Environment Agency (EA) is due to issue a CRC qualification pack to every half hourly metered electricity customer in September 2009. Although the packs will not need to be completed and returned until the period 1 April 2010 to 30 September 2010, recipients could easily underestimate the time needed to gather the necessary information. Failure to respond, or inadequate responses, could give rise to penalties. The CRC is a novel policy instrument in the UK's transition to a low carbon economy. Participants and scheme administrators (the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Northern Ireland Environment Agency) alike, both need to learn how this will best be delivered. Inevitably, it will take time to bed down and the scheme administrators are keen to co-operate with potential participants through this process. Organisations will need to:

  • understand what constitutes their group for CRC purposes (please see the Nabarro guide here);
  • co-ordinate the collection of all qualification packs and identify all half-hourly meters across their entire 'CRC group';
  • work with the scheme administrators to reconcile half-hourly meters with their 'CRC group'; and
  • work out how much half-hourly metered electricity was consumed across their 'CRC group' in 2008.

Correctly determining what constitutes a 'CRC group' can present a real challenge in itself. So too may accessing group-wide energy consumption data for the first time. It may be a mistake to leave this too late.

Early engagement by potential CRC participants in this process and with the scheme administrators is likely to work to the benefit of all.