Government CRC scheme has serious flaws

Offshoring data centres bypasses legislation, warns Morse.

Loopholes in the Government's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy saving scheme could mean that global emissions actually increase, according to IT services firm Morse.

Due to come into force in April, the CRC scheme is designed to encourage UK organisations to reduce their power usage through financial penalties and inducements. Initially, it will affect 5,000 public and private-sector organisations which consume more than 6,000MWh of electricity per year, which will typically be companies with large UK data centres. The scheme is expected to be rolled out to more firms once established.

Although it applauds the idea of reducing emissions, Morse warned that the legislation was too woolly. Instead of encouraging firms to adopt more energy-efficient in their power-guzzling data centres, some organisations have already bypassed the scheme by opening up new data centres offshore in countries with less stringent regulations. The result is no improvement to global emissions and a detrimental effect on UK job prospects.
It also does not address the issue of where an organisation sources their energy or the power use of suppliers or partners.

"It was originally called the Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme, but when you look at it, it's nothing to do with carbon reduction. Why is power the only thing they are concerned about? What they should be doing is encouraging people to move to renewable energy sources. All this is doing is measuring the amount of power used, so it doesn't take account of whether you use your power more efficiency or whether your company has grown or what your supply chain does," said Brian Murray, a principle consultant at Morse.