Cutting your carbon emissions

Comply with emissions trading requirements


If your business is energy-intensive or uses energy supplied on the half hourly market you may need to comply with mandatory emissions trading schemes.

European Union emissions trading system (EU ETS)

Energy-intensive businesses that release significant emissions into the atmosphere may need to obtain a greenhouse gas emissions permit under the EU ETS.

You may need a permit, for example, if your business is in the:

  • energy sector
  • production and processing of ferrous (iron-based) metals sector
  • mineral sector - eg cement manufacture
  • pulp and paper industry

Under the system, businesses that emit fewer emissions than their permit allows can sell their excess to firms producing excessive emissions.

If you are unsure whether your business is covered by the EU ETS, you should contact the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

For more information about the EU ETS, see our guide on how to meet EU Emissions Trading System requirements.

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, previously known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment, is a new emissions trading scheme. It covers large business and public sector organisations. The CRC will have a significant impact on reducing UK carbon emissions and offers businesses the potential to save money through energy efficiency.

The CRC focuses on energy use emissions primarily from large non-energy intensive public and private-sector organisations, including retailers, offices and banks.

If your business' electricity is supplied by half hourly meters you are likely to be included in the scheme.

If your business' total supply of half hourly metered electricity in 2008 was at least 6,000 megawatts you must register as a participant in the CRC.

If your business' total supply of half hourly metered electricity in 2008 was below 6,000 megawatts you must make an information disclosure.

For more information about the CRC, see our guide on the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.