Companies to be spared carbon emission finesThe Times
Ben Webster, Environment Editor
Thousands of companies are to escape penalties for failing to comply with a government scheme to cut business carbon emissions.
The requirements of the Carbon Reduction Commitment will be eased because ministers fear an adverse reaction from businesses frustrated by its complexity, The Times has learnt.
The number of companies required to participate is also likely to fall sharply, with smaller firms exempted once the rules have been reviewed.
Up to 5,000 companies are expected to miss tomorrow’s registration deadline. The rules state that businesses failing to register in time will incur a £5,000 fine, and £500 for each subsequent day, up to a maximum of £45,000.
However, the Government has decided not to issue fines in the early phase, and will instead work with companies to help them register. Only those that persistently refuse risk being fined.
Under the scheme, about 4,000 organisations in the private and public sector that use a large amount of electricity must report their consumption.
From April next year, they will be required to buy permits for the amount of electricity they expect to use over the following 12 months.
At the end of the period, all of the companies will be issued with a refund.
Those that are most successful at cutting their consumption will be refunded the money spent on permits, plus a bonus of up to 10 per cent. The worst performing businesses will receive only 90 per cent of their money back.
All the money spent on permits is recycled within the scheme, meaning the bonuses for the best performers are paid by those who score badly.
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