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CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (often referred to as simply ‘the CRC’) is a mandatory scheme aimed at improving energy efficiency and cutting emissions in large public and private sector organisations. These organisations are responsible for around 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The scheme features a range of drivers, which aim to encourage organisations to develop energy management strategies that promote a better understanding of energy usage. It is designed to target energy supplies not already covered by Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) and the EU Emissions Trading System.

The CRC affects large public and private sector organisations across the UK. Participants include supermarkets, water companies, banks, local authorities and all central government departments.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has developed the CRC policy in partnership with the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Department of Environment Northern Ireland.

How the CRC works


Qualification for the scheme is based on electricity usage.Organisations will qualify if, during the qualification year, they consumed over 6,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of qualifying electricity through settled half-hourly meters. More information on metering is available on the Environment Agency website.

Organisations that meet the qualification threshold must register using the CRC Registry, which is administered by the Environment Agency. Qualifying organisations have to comply legally with the scheme or face financial and other penalties.

A summary of steps to determine whether your organisation qualifies for participation in the CRC can be found on the Environment Agency website.

Compliance requirements

Organisations which participate within the CRC are required to monitor their energy use, and report their energy supplies annually. The Environment Agency’s reporting system applies emissions factors to calculate participants’ carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on the basis of this information.

Participants must purchase and surrender allowances to offset their emissions. Allowances can either be bought at annual fixed-price sales, or traded on the secondary market. One allowance must be surrendered for each tonne of CO2 emitted.


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