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Press Release

SFW Delivers Climate Change Agreements Administration System for the Environment Agency

29th January 2013  - Woking, Surrey  - SFW Ltd is delighted to announce that it has delivered a system that will facilitate the administration of the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) Scheme for the Environment Agency (EA).  The system will automate a number of previously paper-based and resource-intensive processes for the scheme and assist the CCA team in managing and administering the scheme.

Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) are part of a package of measures designed to tackle wider issues relating to climate change. This package includes the Climate Change Levy, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. The agreements are voluntary and give UK industry a £270m discount on the Climate Change Levy Tax (CCL) which is administered by HMRC. The CCL is chargeable on the industrial and commercial energy supply of consumers in the Industrial, Commercial, Agricultural, Public and Service sectors.

Climate Change Agreements were administered by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on a UK-wide basis, but given the potential synergies with the other schemes that the Environment Agency administers (CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, EU ETS and IPPC) the administration for CCAs recently passed to the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency will administer the new scheme which commences on 1st April 2013. DECC will retain the legal and policy responsibilities for the scheme.

The CCA solution is based on ETSWAP, the EU ETS Workflow Automation Project, which assists the Environment Agency in fulfilling its obligations as a regulator of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme across the UK. ETSWAP is a scalable and modular web-based solution, comprising on-line forms and workflows. It facilitates the submission of plans and reports from Operators and Verifiers participating in the EU Emissions Trading scheme to the Environment Agency. By basing the solution on the ETSWAP system, the EA has maximised cost efficiencies and opportunities to reuse architectures and code. 

Speaking on behalf of the Environment Agency, Alex Hincks, Senior Project Manager, CIS Solutions Delivery, said “This system is all about maximising efficiencies and reducing costs - both in terms of streamlining the administration for the CCA scheme as well as ensuring that, where possible, the EA reuses and repurposes suitable system architecture and code in new developments.  I expect the delivery and use of the CCA Administration System to continue this theme.”

Speaking on behalf of SFW, Director, Peter Hornsby said “It is great to be working with the Environment Agency to help it deliver a system which facilitates modernisation, automation and process improvement. The CCA Administration System will help increase speed and accuracy whilst significantly enhancing the reporting capability.” 

The CCA system is based on ETSWAP which SFW developed for the Environment agency to assist it in the Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification processes required for the management of UK emissions under EU law and uses .NET 4.0, SQL Server 2008, and Windows Workflow Foundation as well as Outreach by Toplevel.

The Climate Change Agreements system became live in early 2013.

ENDS.

For any press-related queries regarding SFW, please contact Catriona Anderson marketing@sfwltd.co.uk 01483 742079

Notes to Editors

About SFW
SFW delivers Business Application Services including premium, value for money, Climate, Environment and Energy IT Services. It is the IT partner responsible for supporting and maintaining the Greta and Seringas registries and for the development and delivery of the ETSWAP MRV solution. SFW offers consultancy, software take-on and management, software development, systems support, and maintenance services. SFW truly understands the complexities, needs and challenges of implementing Climate Change solutions, and combines this with the technical knowledge and ability to deliver streamlined, effective and efficient emissions management, registry and connectivity solutions.  For further information, visit www.sfwltd.co.uk

About the Environment Agency
The Environment Agency (the EA) is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) and resides under the sponsorship of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the National Assembly for Wales (NAW). It is the leading public body responsible for protecting and improving the environment in England and Wales. It is responsible for regulation of the EU ETS across the UK.

The EA is structured into 7 regions and 21 areas. Further information on the Agency and its activities can be obtained from www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Background on Climate Change Levy and Climate Change Agreements
Both the Climate Change Levy (CCL) and Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) were introduced on 1 April 2001.

The Government recognised that energy intensive industries that are exposed to overseas competition should be given special consideration. Therefore, it agreed that such industries could qualify for a discount of up to 80% of the CCL. This is provided through a CCA using similar agreements to those used to determine PPC installation eligibility.

Being party to a CCA and meeting energy efficiency targets allows relevant facilities to claim a discount in the Climate Change Levy. This discount was 80% for all eligible fuels, until April 2011, when it fell to 65%. It was announced in the March 2011 budget that electricity will revert to an 80% reduction from April 2013.

The responsibility for negotiating energy efficiency and carbon savings targets, and operating the CCAs currently rests with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

CCAs have a two-tier structure. There is a sector-level agreement between DECC and the sector or trade association (known as an umbrella agreement), and individual agreements between DECC and the operator of the facility (known as underlying agreements for Target Units). DECC currently contracts AEA Energy & Environment (AEA) to provide technical support in the operation of the CCAs. In the new scheme, both types of agreement will be held by the new administrator, the Environment Agency.

In return for the CCL discount, the Sector Association (SA) must agree challenging targets to improve energy efficiency or reduce carbon emissions across the sector. These targets are measured every 2 years through 5 milestones during the 10 year scheme. All Target Units are required to report their emissions for the 2 year target period relating to the milestone so that they can be reconciled against the relevant target. Companies within the sector will be expected to meet equivalently demanding targets to contribute to the sector total.

Where a Target Unit fails to meet its target, financial measures are used as compensation and enable agreement holders to continue in the scheme and benefit from the discount. If this is not undertaken then there is an option for agreements to be decertified for 2 years or terminated for the remainder of the scheme.