In the current climate, many businesses are looking to reduce costs where they can, meaning the reopening and proposed extension of the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) scheme will come as welcome news.
The CCA scheme enables eligible businesses to make an agreement to reduce their energy consumption and CO2 emissions in return for a discount of up to 92% on the electricity element of the Climate Change Levy (CCL) and 83% on the gas element. But if you want to secure an agreement – and benefit from the significant savings they bring – you must act fast.
Apply Now Before it’s Too Late
The application period for new entrants closes on the 30th November 2020, subject to the outcome of the recent consultation. This means there’s only a couple of months left for organisations to put together and submit their applications.
Businesses who wish to apply must do so via their sector association. This means you could have even less time to prepare, with sector organisations often requiring new entrant applications earlier, to allow them enough time to submit to the Environment Agency.
How to Apply
If you think you might be eligible for a CCA, you can investigate whether your business processes fall under the scheme’s criteria – full list of eligible processes can be found in Appendix A of the CCA Operations Manual. If your processes are eligible, then you should start gathering the information you need now. This includes information around:
- the specific facility/facilities carrying out eligible activities
- any environmental permits held (including existing or previous CCA or EU ETS permits)
- details of the manufacturing processes on sites and other activities directly associated with the eligible process
- the amount and type of energy the eligible and directly associated activities use
Extension Estimated to Save Businesses Around £300m a Year
Originally the CCA scheme was set to end on 31st March 2023 – however it was announced in this year’s Budget, that the voluntary scheme will be extended to the end of March 2025, as well as being reopened to new entrants.
As the Government strives to rebalance gas and electricity CCL rates, the rate on gas will continue to rise over the next few years, which will increase energy bills for most businesses. This will make holding and retaining a CCA even more valuable – it’s estimated that this extension will save businesses around £300m each year.
The CCA application process can be complex and time-consuming for businesses, and with the coronavirus pandemic causing ongoing disruption for many organisations, it may not seem like the ideal time for businesses to take on extra admin. However, the financial benefits of gaining a CCA are substantial so it’s important that you don’t miss out.
By working with an energy consultant, businesses can benefit from the expertise of those who deal with energy compliance on a daily basis, which should streamline the CCA process and take the burden off their in-house team. Whether they choose to go it alone or seek external support, however, it’s crucial that businesses don’t delay in order to secure the substantial savings available for those with a CCA.
For support with your CCA application, get in touch.