Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Meeting the carbon reduction commitment
Reducing energy use is rapidly rising up the agenda for many councils and local authorities as a result of the need to cut costs and meet government initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and global warming. Initiatives include the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the more recent Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC).
In the UK around 20,000 organisations from both the public and private sectors, including local authorities and central government are affected by this new legislation, which came into force in April 2010. Of these 20,000, around a quarter will have to fully participate, meaning they will have to monitor their emissions and at the beginning of the year purchase allowances, sold by government, for each tonne of CO2 they emit.
Using EN 16001 to manage energy use
At the end of the year, participating organisations will have to surrender allowances equivalent to the actual amount they emitted in a year. If they did not purchase sufficient allowances, then they will have to go to the open market to buy more – potentially at a higher price. The more CO2 an organisation emits, the more allowances it has to purchase and ultimately surrender.
There are many solutions out there to help councils and authorities reduce their energy consumption and implementing a standard such as EN 16001, is one of them.
EN 16001 is the European standard for energy management systems and represents the latest best practice in energy management building upon existing national standards and initiatives. Similar to the international standard for environmental management ISO 14001, EN 16001 specifies the requirements for an energy management system to enable an organisation to develop and implement an energy policy, identify significant areas of energy consumption and target energy reductions, implement operational controls and check the effectiveness of processes and procedures through monitoring and audits. The final part of the loop is the conducting of a management review when weaknesses and opportunities for improvement can be identified and objectives and programmes revisited to ensure continual improvement.
Whilst EN 16001 provides the framework to enable organisations to identify, manage and reduce energy use, the standard alone does not provide the assurance of actual or relative reductions in energy use – required to meet the Early Action Metric (EAM) of the CRC. The EAM is the only metric in the first year of the CRC that will determine an organisation’s position on the all important league table. This in turn will determine how much repayment an organisation gets back from the scheme and any bonus or penalties. The EAM is made up of two halves; 50 per cent for voluntary introduction of additional automatic meters (AMRs) for reading gas and electricity; and 50 per cent based on the adoption of an approved early action scheme. This is where BSI’s new Kitemark Scheme for Energy Reduction Verification (ERV) comes in to play.
Kitemark® Energy Reduction Verification
BSI has developed a scheme that enables a council or authority to independently verify its reductions in energy use as measured in CO2. The Kitemark® Energy Reduction Verification (ERV) scheme builds on an organisation’s good energy management practices and independently verifies the output of that good practice. The scheme not only confirms the management and measurement behind the figures but also confirms the reductions in carbon emissions.
A Kitemark licence will be awarded if the council has met the following three criteria:
• The council has identified and assessed
its significant energy aspects as defined
by Clause 2.4 of EN 16001 (Note that transport can be excluded)
• The council has reduced its energy use by an average of 2.5 per cent over two years when the energy factors have been calculated, and The council can demonstrate compliance with certain elements of BS EN 16001 (the UK version of EN 16001).
This Kitemark licence can then be used by the council to gain points under the Early Action Metric to secure a better position on the league table and ensure the highest possible repayments.
The Kitemark scheme verifies actual energy use and any reduction on previous use. Whilst based on BS EN 16001, the Kitemark scheme does not require all the elements of an energy management system to BS EN 16001 to be demonstrated.
This is where the energy management standard BS EN 16001 really shows its worth. Not only does BS EN 16001 form the basis of the Kitemark ERV scheme and therefore the early action metrics of the CRC, it also provides a framework that will enable an authority to continue to identify opportunities for absolute and relative reductions and ensure the effectiveness of both the control measures and processes in making the most of these opportunities.
How to get started
For those organisations that may have already implemented ISO 14001, BSI has produced a document comparing BS EN 16001 with ISO 14001. Copies are availalbe to download from www.bsigroup.co.uk.
For those new to energy management and energy management systems, BSI and the Energy Institute are running a joint training programme. Courses include: a one day course as an introduction to energy management (delivered by the Energy Institute); a one day course on an introduction to BS EN 16001; a two day course on implementing BS EN 16001; and a four and five day auditor and lead auditor courses. For more information on these courses, please visit our website at: www.bsigroup.co.uk/training.
The Kitemark ERV scheme has been confirmed by the DECC as an equivalent scheme under the Early Action Metrics system for the CRC.