2014 conversion factors: beware of increased electricity values

Although round 1 of mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting is just behind us, it is essential to start thinking about next year. Regularly collecting data across the year can help improve consistency and accuracy, but also allows reporters to spot anomalies in their data as they occur, allowing time for mitigation steps rather than end-of-year surprises and missed reduction targets.

The new conversion factors for this year came out in June and revealed that the factors for electricity have increased by 11%. As a consequence, businesses whose electricity usage hasn’t changed between 2013 and 2014 will still see their stated greenhouse gas emissions go up by 11% regardless.

With these figures in mind, businesses should take action now in order to mitigate the issue in time for reporting. The significant change will make it more challenging to communicate improved performance or indeed steady performance. This will apply to both absolute reporting and to intensity metrics such as emissions per employee.

As the host for the UK Government’s conversion factors repository, Carbon Smart has a deep understanding of GHG reporting and we are aware that an increase in emissions can be challenging for a business in terms of reputation and credibility. Carbon Smart can advise you on how to prepare your business and stakeholders and discuss the best steps to take now to improve your reporting.

The new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) also requires large organisations to identify electricity savings in the years to come: take advantage of this new scheme’s obligations now and build the benefits into your future GHG emission reporting.

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