Insurers and brokers could be targeted under new scheme

Insurers and brokers that fail to slash their carbon output face large fines under a new government scheme.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), due to come into effect in April next year, will put companies into league tables on carbon output. Those that do well will be financially rewarded, while those at the bottom face penalties.

The CRC will apply to businesses that use more than 6,000MWh – roughly equivalent to a £500,000 annual electricity bill.

Neil Bentley, the CBI’s director of business environment, said many companies were in for a shock when the changes became law.

Under guidance papers released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change last week, firms that qualify for the scheme will pay £12 for every tonne of CO2 output from the first emission.

RSA has estimated companies with a £500,000 energy bill will probably need to put aside £55,000 for carbon payments and administration-related costs.

Details of when the league tables will appear and how the penalty and reward system will work have not been revealed.

Alex Matthias, energy management leader at RSA, said his company welcomed the legislation as it gave environmental responsibility a greater strategic significance.

He said the insurer was working on a range of solutions to enable companies to understand and reduce their energy use.