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As all qualifying organisations will appear in a leaguetable according to how effectively they have reducedtheir emission levels, organisations' reputations will beimpacted as well as their bottom lines.THE IMPORTANCE OF SOFTWARESYSTEMS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCEWith so much at stake for failure to comply with theCRC, it is vital that qualifying organisations have theright IT infrastructure in place to help them tomeasure, monitor and reduce carbon emissions.Without supporting IT systems, organisations areunable to effectively, efficiently and accurately collateand report on the key information required by the CRC.There are several IT systems in the market already,with new solutions being developed and launched allthe time. These software systems can be split into thefollowing two categories:SYSTEMS TO MEASURE AND REPORTON ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND CO2EMISSIONSThere are now dedicated carbon measurementsystems on the market, from carbon accountingapplications to other, broader tools for themeasurement and reporting of electricity, gas andstatic fuel consumption. The fuels being measuredneed to incorporate (but are not limited to) fuel oil for heating, diesel used in plant or vehicles (that arenot registered and taxed for road use) and LPG orsimilar for heating or generation of power. The ITsystems need to be able to collect, aggregate andhandle all energy consumption data from which thecarbon conversions will be made and then report onthe findings. The following basic functionality isrequired:. A core CRC data management system, providing a central data store and browser/web-based access. This must be able to automatically collatemeter data and support manual data input, and/orinput from spreadsheets. To cover readings of allmeters excluding those in relation to transport andonward supply;. Calculation of greenhouse gas emissions data ofrelevance to the CRC (using the energy consumptiondata);. The ability to build a profile of, and report on, existingoverall energy consumption for benchmarkingpurposes;. Calculation of "total footprint emissions". This isonly different to the CRC relevant emissions if thereare members within the organisation that are exemptfrom the CRC;Left: Managing director,COA Solutions, MarkThompson084INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY. The ability to view and report on the data at agranular level;. The management of carbon allowances and carbonemissions trading. This will cover the purchase, saleand handling of allowances (at a fixed price of £12each). For each tonne of CO2 emitted during theyear, the organisation will have to surrender oneallowance. At the start of each compliance year, thegovernment will run a month-long sale, sellingallowances to CRC participants. It is vital that all thisallowance activity is effectively recorded, managedand reported upon.. Integration into the organisation's existing accounting/ enterprise resource planning (ERP) system so thatthe financial implications of the CRC are reflected inthe organisation's central finance system;. The ability for all records of energy consumed andoutput of carbon emissions to be held securely foryears after the monitoring year. For example, recordsfor 2010-2011 must be held until the end of theCRC phase to which the records relate, and then fora further seven years following the end of the phasemeaning some will need to be stored for more than10 years. Although records can be paper-based, it ispreferable they are incorporated into the IT system/sto ensure ease of access and document security.SOFTWARE SYSTEMS TO CUTCOMPANY-WIDE POWERCONSUMPTION AND CO2 EMISSIONSMeasuring and reporting on energy consumption andcarbon emissions is the first step to compliance. Once