The Content Coms invaluable guide to thought leadership and strategy monitoring for business – December 2015

In Content Coms’ December horizon scanning update, COP21’s ambition to unify the global struggle on climate change takes centre stage.

Closer to home, DECC takes a budget hit from George Osborne. But an unexpected pledge to UK energy efficiency brings hope in the lead in to Christmas.

COP 21

World leaders have gathered in Paris, seeking legal, binding agreement to limit global warming to 2C.

“We all know there is no easy answer to climate change,” said Rhian Kelly, CBI Director of Business Environment Policy.

“But, business and industry are part of the solution, developing innovative new products and services, and leading the way in cutting emissions, to propel us towards a low carbon future.” Kelly said that UK business needs long term investment frameworks; she also called for a future price on carbon.

Agreement at COP21, now considered likely, would tie UK businesses into a legally defined carbon-light future, a major boost to energy-efficiency and low carbon technology firms.

Spending Review 2015

George Osborne will provide £295 million over the next 5 years, to improve the energy efficiency of schools, hospitals and other public sector buildings.

Details of the year on year spend, and how to apply, remain unpublished. In the lead in, supplier businesses should remain eagle eyed, ready to apply for and leverage the cash to retrofit Government estates fast.

Preparing a solid business case, proving how quick wins, payback and ROI will pave the path to deeper improvements is key.

22% DECC cut

In his Autumn Statement, George Osborne confirmed DECC will take a 22% cut in day-to-day spending.

The beleaguered department must deliver £220 million of resource savings by 2019/20, through efficiencies from pooling back office and corporate services. DECC must also find cheaper ways to handle the UK’s historic coal and nuclear liabilities.

For firms working day to day with DECC, allowing additional time for DECC responses to communications, and expecting delays in DECC managed work programmes is recommended.

ESOS Deadline

On December 5, the long awaited ESOS deadline finally arrives.

Industry insiders hint percentages of compliant firms may barely push double digits; miring business in confusion on where the scheme will go in 2016.

The Environment Agency has promised leniency for businesses missing the deadline, as long as they inform the EA of the fact by December 5, 2015, and fully document their efforts to comply.

All the details on what UK firms must do are available here, and here. It is imperative not to ignore ESOS deadlines, and to act honestly and transparently.

UK 5th Carbon Budget

The Committee on Climate Change’s latest Carbon Budget will limit annual UK emissions to 57% below 1990 levels.

The Government must legislate the level of the fifth carbon budget, and a new emissions reduction plan, by June 2016. To date, all Governments have followed the Committee’s line on carbon.

Right now, says Business Green, DECC will miss targets in the previous, fourth Carbon Budget by 13%. To solve this, the Committee wants more progress to improve energy efficiency, better roll out on renewable heat technologies, and investment in clean power into the 2020s.

It is tough to predict, given its recent shredding of green policy and budgetary challenges, what DECC will do, both to fix the shortfall and progress the fifth target.

Businesses can and should lobby DECC, and respond to its consultations here.

Triad Season

Between November and February, business electricity suppliers charge extra for the electricity used during a Triad period.

Triads typically occur from Monday to Thursday, during periods of particularly cold weather, at around 5-7pm.

By minimising business electricity use at this time, you can save money. Contact your supplier, request triad alerts, and prepare to switch down energy usage where you can.

The Carbon Trust offers guidance and toolkits on the options and strategies available.

Keep in touch…

Content Coms is delighted to provide further bespoke, personalised updates and business-critical scanning services across energy, technology and low carbon portfolios. For more information, email [email protected]

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