The Government is consulting on the continuation of the Climate Change Agreements scheme...
The Climate Change Agreements (CCA) scheme, first established in 2001, serves the dual purpose of making energy and carbon savings through energy efficiency targets, whilst also helping to reduce energy costs in eligible industrial sectors by providing a significant discount to participating businesses on the Climate Change Levy (CCL). The NFU is the trade association responsible for the existing CCAs (due to end in March 2025) which cover certain eligible energy-intensive sectors (horticulture, pigs and poultry). NFU Energy administers these schemes for the NFU, and provides expert help and guidance to scheme members. Overall, these CCAs have proven effective in driving energy efficiency uptake for participating NFU members, and we have shown that the discipline of regularly reporting energy performance can result in business gains, and may also enable compliance with future regulations on energy efficiency.
As a long standing, well understood scheme which is supported by industry and has proven to be effective in delivering energy savings, the Government believes that there continues to be a place for a voluntary agreement scheme as a part of how to reach net zero emissions for UK industry. The Government is therefore consulting on following the current CCA scheme with a new, reformed scheme after the end of the current targets (31 December 2022) and reduced rates of Climate Change Levy (31 March 2025).
In the opinion of the NFU and NFU Energy, this is one of the few government incentive schemes that has consistently incentivised energy users to do the ‘right thing’, making progressive energy efficiency improvements that boost resource use efficiency and productivity, as well as reducing environmental impact. We are keen to see it (or a similar replacement scheme) continue in the long term.
A replacement scheme needs to be made more inclusive to farmers and growers that use significant amounts of energy in their process, but fall outside the currently targeted sub-sectors (poultry, pigs and horticulture). For example, large dairy enterprises could benefit from access to a discount on energy bills if they met certain approved energy and carbon saving goals.
Whilst the sectoral approach simplifies target setting to a degree, as above, we would like to make the replacement scheme more inclusive for those outside of sectoral boundaries. We suggest that voluntary participation is available by businesses that met certain qualifying criteria to join a group scheme.
Have your say
Click here to download a copy of the draft response jointly from the NFU and NFU Energy, and fill out our NFU Energy questionnaire here by the 28 February if you would like your comments included in our final submission. Alternatively, you can access the gov.uk online survey here to submit your comments direct by the 11 March deadline.