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The CRC Scheme: Cutting Emissions from Large Energy Users [UK]

The purpose of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is to reduce emissions from large energy users in both public and private sector, who are wholly responsible for approximately 10% of the United Kingdom’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Qualifying participants for the scheme are required to buy allowances for every tonne of carbon they emit into the environment.

It is said that the scheme will reduce non-traded carbon emissions by 16 million tonnes by 2027, supporting the UK’s goal of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

Energy already covered by Climate Change Agreements and the EU Emissions Trading system is not included in this scheme.

économies d’énergie2

The CRC Scheme is structured in phases. Each phase has a qualification year. If a participant meets the requirements during a qualification year, they must register with either:

  • the Environment Agency (England),
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Scotland),
  • Northern Ireland Environment Agency (Northern Ireland),
  • Natural Resources Wales (Wales)
for the following phase of the CRC scheme for the whole phase.

Do you need to register?

Qualification for CRC is measured at group level not at the individual company level. In order to determine if you qualify for CRC It is necessary to work out your entire UK organisational structure and whether you are a part of a group of companies.

The specific criteria for CRC qualification are available in the guide via the link below (in the sources).
  • Registration dates for the current Phase 2 have elapsed and registration dates for Phase 3 will be published in the guide linked below when they have been finalised.

Those participants which qualify for the CRC Scheme are required to comply with the rules of the scheme and must purchase surrender allowances for their emissions. These allowances can be purchased at fixed sale prices or traded via the secondary market. One allowance must be surrendered per 1 tonne of CO2 emitted.

For more detailed information, please refer to the government guidance directly.

EHS Legal Specialist


CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme’ publication on the Department of Energy and Climate Change website www.decc.gov.uk on 15th July 2015 CRC Scheme

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