By Max Clarke

UK businesses want the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) scrapped, Npower research suggests.

The research reveals that companies not only want to see an end to the scheme, but over a quarter (29%) also said they do not think the Carbon Reduction Commitment will help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets - one of its key aims.

The government proposed several changes to the scheme as part of its Comprehensive Spending Review and as such, financial incentives which were originally included in the scheme were removed. Nearly half of businesses (43%) said they want financial incentives reintroduced and 40% of organisations said that now the CRC is effectively a tax, there is no incentive for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions - another important reason why the scheme was introduced in the first place.

"The results of our latest research reflect much of the feedback we receive on a daily basis from our customers”, said Dave Lewis, head of business energy services at npower. “It is concerning that the changes to the CRC have resulted in businesses putting less priority on reducing emissions, which was one of its key aims. We feel it is important that organisations focus on the best practice behaviour the CRC sets out to encourage, as energy efficiency and effective energy management make sound commercial sense, with or without the scheme."

Over half of businesses (54%) feel the CRC places unnecessary financial burden on businesses and 41% feel the CRC should be postponed until the UK economy’s financial recovery is more secure.

Dave Lewis continues: "It is also worth noting that nearly half of businesses (48%) said they felt the scheme’s first league table, due to be published in October 2011, will not carry any real meaning. When the scheme was first launched, this was an important element of its financial and reputational incentives, so these results seem to suggest that organisations are viewing the scheme differently, and many of our customers have told us they see it purely as another tax.

"The next milestone in the CRC calendar is submission of the first footprint report, which details an organisation's carbon emissions from April 2010. This is due by 29 July and our research reveals that not only are over one in ten businesses concerned their company will miss the deadline but that 10% of them are not confident the data their company will submit is correct. This is a real concern as accurate data is the first point of any effective energy management strategy and only by truly knowing how and where energy is being consumed can efficiency measures be put in place."