The Government published in July 2018 its response to the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting system (SECR) consultation. The result – from 2019 almost 8,000 more companies will have to report in their annual accounts, for everyone to see,  on their energy use and any efficiency measures implemented in the last year.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme ends in 2019 and SECR will substitute it's reporting requirement to an extent, but will also increase the reporting burden for more companies. Now, quoted companies, large unquoted companies and large LLP's which use more than 40,000kwh and are not exempt, will also have to report on their energy use. Where such disclosures would seriously prejudice the interests of a company, the company would be exempt; but it is not clear what this means and therefore where the exemption applies.

This is one more of the Governments initiatives to drive mandatory environmental, social and governance reporting which is clearly on their agenda. The Government has acknowledged that SECR's mandatory reporting increases transparency for investors, raises awareness, drives behaviour change and creates reputational drivers. Further, they have also now admitted that voluntary reporting would not provide consistent and transparent information for stakeholders.