he UK's CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is now in effect, impacting 20,000 of the largest public and private sectororganisations. With its regulatoryrequirements forcing businesses to report on theirenergy consumption and carbon emissions, it is vitalthat the right software systems are in place to ensurecompliance. The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly knownas the Carbon Reduction Commitment) is a mandatorycarbon emissions trading scheme in the UK. It appliesto any organisation consuming more than 6,000MWhper year of electricity - equivalent to an annualelectricity bill of about £500,000 - and is designed tohighlight and drive down energy use by big business.The scheme, which came into effect in April 2010, isa regulatory incentive to, firstly, raise awareness aboutenergy consumption and environmental implications,and, secondly, improve energy efficiency across theseorganisations. Unsurprisingly, the ultimate intention ofthe scheme is to help meet the UK's target of cuttinggreenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050.Qualification for CRC is based solely on electricityconsumption, but once in the scheme, companies willneed to measure and report on emissions fromelectricity, gas and static fuel consumption. There are two key aspects to the CRC Energy EfficiencyScheme:. Measuring and monitoring the CO2 emissions of theUK's larger energy users; and. Reducing emissions using a financial incentive - byimposing a cost on CO2 emissions.Each year, all qualifying organisations must report ontheir energy consumption levels and resultant carbonemissions so that it can be determined whether theseare inappropriately high, and whether enough is beingdone by these organisations to reduce emissions. Qualifying organisations are also required to purchaseallowances from Government for each tonne of carbonthey believe they will emit for each annual reportingyear (excluding the first year in the introductoryphase).The first year of reporting is already underway, fromApril 2010, with the first sales of allowances to be heldin April 2011. During the introductory phase, allcarbon emission allowances will be sold at a fixed priceof £12 per tonne of CO2. From April 2013, allowanceswill be auctioned by the government, with feweravailable each year. Proceeds from the sale of allowances will bedistributed back among the organisations within thescheme, based on their progress with emissions. Abonus or penalty will be applied based on the extent towhich companies have reduced their emissions - ornot - compared with other participating organisations. Essentially, the scheme fines those who do not takeproactive measures to cut carbon.The CRC is a serious initiative, with seriousimplications for organisations that fail to cooperate.These range from escalating fines for registration andreporting delays (starting from £5,000) and penaltiesof £40 for each tonne of CO2 incorrectly reported(applied wherever there is a margin of error greaterthan 5 per cent), to imprisonment of up to three yearsfor deliberate omissions or manipulation of the data.Right: To help reducecarbon emissions ITequipment that uses lessenergy consumption is away forward THE SOFTWARE IMPLICATIONS OF THE CRC ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCHEME082INFORMATION TECHNOLOGYMARK THOMPSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, COA SOLUTIONS T" "THE ULTIMATEINTENTION OF THESCHEME IS TOHELP MEET THEUK'S TARGET OF CUTTINGGREENHOUSE GASEMISSIONS BY ATLEAST 80 PERCENT BY 2050 ?