Fifty-one industrial sectors have signed up to “stretching energy efficiency improvement targets” covering 9,000 sites, the energy and climate department (DECC) has announced.
On 2 April, the department revealed the levels of ambition for the latest set of climate change agreements, due to run from now until 2023.
Climate change agreements (CCAs) provide industry with up to 90% relief from the climate change levy on energy use, in return for achieving energy efficiency and carbon savings.
The new targets are initially to 2020 and will be reviewed in 2016.
The laundry sector has the most stretching agreement, promising to improve its energy intensity by 25%. In contrast, the compressed industrial gases and aluminium sectors have committed to improvements of less than 3% (see table).
DECC says that the agreements should reduce CO2 emissions by 19 million tonnes in total. That is equivalent to 2.7MtCO2e a year, or 0.47% of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2012.
The agreements are far simpler than previous ones, after the government ran a series of drawn-out consultations on improving them.
However, there is doubt over the future of some of the CCAs following last month’s Budget. Chancellor George Osborne announced there would be a 100% exemption from the climate change levy for hard-pressed energy intensive sectors such as ceramics, steel and aluminium.
But there has been no clarification on what happens to the CCAs. A Treasury spokesman told ENDS the department will “carefully consider retaining a link with CCA energy efficiency targets as some in industry have suggested”. A consultation will be issued in the autumn.