As the Trust’s Environmental Services and Sustainable Development Manager, it was my responsibility to administer compliance to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC).
Since participation to the CRC scheme commenced in 2010, we had completed the calculation and submission of our CRC Annual Reports using internal resource within the Estates and Facilities Management department. We had not engaged any third parties to verify our submissions in the past, nor had we been subject to audit by the Environment Agency.
The Trust operates from a large and complex estate in Nottingham, with energy supplies split across two hospital campuses. In addition, we generate electricity supply within two combined heat and power (CHP) systems, both regulated by the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), as well as heat produced in a coal fired boiler house. This has presented some difficulties in the past on the way we both record and report on our energy supply under the CRC scheme.
Carbon Credentials conducted the Year 4 (2013/14) CRC internal audit which commenced with a site visit in June 2014 by two auditors who conducted a full review of our CRC compliance management system and Evidence Pack. The areas covered by the audit included checks of our procedures, roles and responsibilities, energy supply/meter list, EU ETS exemptions and carbon management practices. Most importantly, the team collected all necessary information to commence their audit of our CRC Annual Report calculation spreadsheets.
We received the audit report within two weeks of this initial meeting, including the review of our CRC Annual Report calculation spreadsheets. Our conformance against the audit checklist was presented clearly in the report using a traffic light rating system, providing an excellent overview on the health of our CRC compliance.
The report included a list of corrective actions for resolving the issues raised, and recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the management system, both of which we acted on quickly to ensure that we were well prepared before the CRC submission deadline.
We found the Carbon Credentials internal audit service to be a valuable part of our CRC compliance management process. In addition to providing thorough verification of our compliance, Carbon Credentials informed us of an important update on CRC requirements in relation to the treatment of EU ETS installations under CRC Phase 2.
We followed Carbon Credentials advice to seek further clarification from the Environment Agency on the changes to CRC requirements, and have since learned that the Trust no longer qualifies for CRC Phase 2. This will save approximately £2.5 million over the next five years, money which can now be invested in energy saving initiatives and improvement of other services.
We are thoroughly pleased with the quality of service which has been provided by Carbon Credentials, who have ensured our compliance with our final year in the CRC scheme. We look forward to working with Carbon Credentials in the future on wider carbon management within the Trust.