Inquiry into Govt Emissions Ambitions, Energy Performance data goes public and Excise Duty on biofuels

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Following the commitment in law to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, the focus now shifts onto how this will be achieved.

The Environmental Audit Committee has opened an inquiry into how the government will meet the Net Zero ambition. Focused on procurement and estate management by central government departments, the Committee is asking for ideas on how the public sector can be supported to meet the targets as well as for evidence on current good practice and improvement opportunities.

One area where we at ICON think greater activity will happen as a result of the Net Zero target is in auditing and accounting for emissions from corporate activities.

The Green Finance Strategy (see last week’s report) mentions moves to make landlords and occupiers more aware of their building’s energy performance, for example through a commercial Display Energy Certificate. There will be further work to come on this, but I am expecting to see energy performance certificates, or something similar, become much more ubiquitous.

So what happens to all the data collected from DECs and EPCs?

Government wants to make data on building energy performance more accessible to researchers and other interested parties so they can develop models and products to help address real-life building energy performance.

With this in mind, the privacy impact assessment for the non-domestic EPC registers has been updated; data on building types, locations, etc can be accessed by the public. Commercially sensitive information (like company name) is stripped out before publication but customers who do not want their data to be publicly available should opt out using the EPC opt-out register.

The other updates this week are of less impact to the majority of consumers. Ofgem are conducting a statutory assessment on the National Grid licence in the event of a no-deal Brexit; the CUSC panel is going to become a little more diverse in terms of panel membership and for public bodies that have received HNIP funding, new guidance is available on how to complete the monitoring reports.

In water news, Ofwat have written to four companies asking for areas of their business plan to be addressed ahead of Price Control Review 19. The final determinations should be published on 18th July so we should soon have a bit more steer on what water prices are doing next year.

Speaking of prices, a reminder of our Where’s the Market? webinar on Monday 15th where Tim Partridge, Head of Risk and Trading at DB Group will explain the bulls, the bears, how trades are placed and what makes a market move and give his long-range predictions for energy prices this coming winter.

Should we be revising our procurement strategy before the winter season?  I have no idea, but Tim is a highly experienced trader and he’s here to share everything he knows.

If you can’t make it on the day, register anyway and catch us at your leisure on Listen Again.

Finally, for businesses that are producing or using a lot of biofuels or other fuel substitutes, HMRC has issued a new Excise Notice explaining when Fuel Duty has to be paid on biofuels.

As ever, if you think we’ve got any of the above wrong, do call me out on it – open, respectful discussion is the only way we all learn – and if you want to know any more, you know where to go….

For more information, or to download this week’s full report, please log onto the ICON app.