Leading UK law firm, Burges Salmon, has advised that HM Treasury has launched a consultation seeking views from relevant stakeholders on how to improve the energy efficiency tax landscape. This follows an announcement made by the new Conservative Government in the Summer Budget, which recognised a need to simplify the overall regime.
The consultation involves a review of:
• the Climate Change Levy (“CCL”);
• the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (“CRC”);
• Climate Change Agreements;
• mandatory greenhouse gas reporting;
• the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (“ESOS”);
• Enhanced Capital Allowances; and
• the Electricity Demand Reduction pilot.
Significantly, the consultation proposes abolishing CRC and moving towards a new tax based on CCL. This brings forward the Government’s review of CRC (which was expected to take place in 2016). The Government also proposes to develop a single reporting scheme based on ESOS. The overall impact is that organisations may no longer face multiple taxes and reporting obligations.
For many the current regime has proved to be unduly complex, burdensome and seemingly overlapping. This consultation presents a welcome opportunity for businesses, public and third sector organisations alike to share their views. It appears that the Government is prepared (for now at least) to implement some quite radical reforms. The consultation is open for comment until 9 November 2015 and the Government is expected to publish its formal response at Budget 2016. Those organisations that currently have obligations under the various schemes should consider contributing to the consultation and at the very least should keep a close eye on developments.
Further information on this consultation, and how to respond, can be found through the DECC/HM Treasury website.