Home > Carbon Reduction Commitment, Green IT > Why Green IT will greatly benefit organisations which are in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) – legislation which is to take effect in April 2010….

Why Green IT will greatly benefit organisations which are in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) – legislation which is to take effect in April 2010….

As the CRC legislation is due to take effect in April 2010, I am hoping this blog post will explain it better and help people to understand why they should address looking at the areas of purchasing, usage, and disposal of IT within their organisations. Some organisations have not even looked at this properly yet. This could be due to many reasons

  • little awareness of what Green IT is and how it can help
  • employees are too busy with their daily tasks and have an increased workload
  • budgets
  • other priorities
  • redundancies

The IT power consumption for a large organisation is very high, reducing it is a must. This is based on the assumption the organisation has many servers in a data centre, desktops, laptops, printers, photocopiers…anything with a plug you could say!

Whether you are in an organisation participating in the CRC or not, looking at ways to increase the IT energy efficiency will reduce the carbon footprint and costs.

The main references to the CRC are available on the DECC and Environment Agency (EA) websites.

  1. What is the CRC?
  • Previously known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment, the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme has been developed by the UK Government.
  • The main aim is to get organisations operating in the UK to improve on energy efficiency, and therefore reduce the CO2 emitted.
  • It is a mandatory scheme which is administered by the EA.
  • It is the UK’s new carbon emissions trading scheme.
  • An organisation
    • Must record and monitor their emissions.
    • Must buy allowances from the Government for the CO2 emissions which it estimates it will emit for each year (does not apply in the first year in the introductory phase). It is currently stated that this will be sold at £12 per tonne of CO2.
    • Must pay to register and participate in the scheme.
    • Must report on all total footprint emissions which includes gas, electricity and other fuel types. There are exclusions for energy which are used for transport, domestic accommodation and unconsumed supplies (purchased fuel or energy for a third party).
    • Must keep all records to support the energy information in an evidence pack. Keep gathering the evidence as you go along.
    • Will receive a proportion of the allowance revenue repayment recycled back. This depends on the organisation’s ranking in the CRC annual league table (see 3).
    • Can buy or sell extra allowances in the Trading/Secondary Market. First sale of allowances will be in April 2011.
    • Will need to have internal auditing procedures.
    • May be selected for an audit by an external regulator and the evidence pack will need to be presented if requested by the auditor.
    • Will be penalised for non-compliances, such as providing inaccurate information, if a report is not submitted by the deadline or the organisation fails to complete an evidence pack that has been requested by the auditor. There are many more…..

2.     Who does the CRC affect?

  • 20,000 large public or private/commercial and infrastructure sectors, including
    • Hotel Chains
    • Large Offices
    • Small Industrial Facilities
    • NHS
    • Large Retailers
    • Supermarkets
    • Central Government Departments
    • Schools
    • Universities
    • Housing Associations
    • Local Authorities
  • There are around 5,000 non-energy intensive organisations who are fully participating.
  • Full participation will be from organisations which used over 6000 MWH in 2008 and have at least one half hourly meter. The electricity bill is considered to be £500,000+.
  • Information disclosure is only required from organisations which used over 3000 MWH and have one half hourly meter.

3.     What is the CRC League Table?

  • An annual performance league table will be published by the Government which lists all organisations based on their provided reporting figures.
  • Those who report on less energy usage will feature high in the league table and be rewarded bonuses. Let’s assist you and get you here! 🙂
  • Those who report on more energy usage will feature lower in the league table, and will be penalised!
  • There are three metrics which are used in the calculation to determine the performance. These are the absolute metric, early action metric and growth metric.
  • The organisations position will decide how much of the allowance revenue is recycled back by the Government to the participants. This will be given at the end of October, three months after the reporting deadline.
  • The bonuses and penalty rates will increase in percentage for each year and have currently been set for the first five years as follows.
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Bonus +/-10% +/-20% +/-30% +/-40% +/-50%
Penalty +/-10% +/-20% +/-30% +/-40% +/-50%

 4.     What are the CRC Time Periods?

The scheme is splits into phases across a number of years. It starts in April 2010, which effectively will be a reporting year.


 5.     How can Green IT help organisations?

  • Various studies have been carried out (Gartner 2007) which state the IT industry is fast overtaking the aviation industry, with 2% of carbon emissions. How many UK IT directors are aware of their department’s carbon footprint?
  • Organisations are using technology quite largely to process, store and report on data, and also to print and carry out communication in a number of ways. Basically, technology is used to support the business processes.
  • Solutions must be provided on how to reduce the IT energy consumption and the carbon footprint. To name a few, these include…
    • Providing the best recommendations to reduce, renew and recycle IT equipment.
    • When looking to purchase technology, take into account the carbon emissions involved at each of the six stages of the equipment lifecycle – from mining the raw materials to final disposal.
    • Providing the best recommendations (donate, sell, reuse, etc) to legally dispose of IT equipment no longer needed, ensuring the WEEE Directive is adhered to and the suppliers are properly certified.
    • Ensuring accurate monitoring/management of the IT energy and carbon consumption.
    • Ensuring the IT power consumption is reduced with minimum disruption to the daily business activities.

Given the fact internal auditing is required and external auditing may take place for the CRC, it is very important to follow the correct procedures to audit the IT energy usage to ensure its use is being reduced on a continuous basis.

When looking at cost and carbon savings, a company which for example uses 1000 PCs can deliver a return on investment of approximately £80,000 within a year by implementing one of a number of quick win Green IT solutions. That is typically over 720000 KG/CO2 a year.


The benefits of investing in Green IT which will help organisations in the CRC are:-

  • Improved carbon efficiency
  • Reduced level of IT CO2 emissions
  • IT energy costs savings
  • Greater energy efficiency
  • A business opportunity for employees
  • Improved organisation credibility

To summarise, a Green IT Consultant will work with and assist an organisation to increase their IT energy efficiency, providing solutions to regularly monitor/manage the technology energy/carbon usage and ensure the correct standards/legislation are being adhered to.

All are measures which are steps towards ensuring the organisation does not have to face financial penalties, be placed higher in the CRC league table and will drive an organisation to greater IT energy efficiency, therefore reducing costs and carbon footprint!

Take Action Now…..

DATE: 14 March 2010 1pm

Tripta Prashar


  1. Mitesh Desai
    April 17, 2010 at 07:51

    Hi Tripta,

    Thanks for a very informative post! I have a couple of questions though. Can organizations create carbon credits through this scheme? If yes, then how is it different from scope 2 emissions?

    • August 4, 2011 at 16:17

      This is actually my first time here, really nice looking blog. I found so many interesting things in your blog especially about green it. I favor this website given and it has given me some sort of dedication achievement for a few purpose, so thanks

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