Plotting carbon cuts

A typical marginal abatement cost curve for an office-based organisationEach step in the curve on the rights indicates an individual energy-saving or emissions-reduction measure, showing  how much it would reduce emissions by and at what cost per tonne of CO2 abated.

The further to the left on the graph a measure is, the more cost-efficient it will be. Measures in the green zone – for example, installing sensors which switch off lights when offices are empty – will pay for themselves irrespective of the price of carbon. Options further to the right will only be cost-efficient if the carbon price rises.

This category would include adding double glazing in older buildings, replacing boilers and fitting renewable energy-based systems. The magnitude of any reductions and their relative price will vary between buildings depending on factors such as age and design, management practices and fittings.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment

A special report, sponsored by RPS(energy and environmental consultants)