School energy matters

Carbon tax

In June 2012 schools will have to pay the first carbon tax due under the government's Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme. Each school will have to pay a carbon tax based on their emissions for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.  In April 2011 we advised each school of the tax based on the last 12 months' energy data.  We have now updated this information to give a greater degree of accuracy.

The carbon tax information has been calculated from the energy information in SAP. For most schools the information is accurate, but for others there maybe issues with estimated meter readings or missing data. If you feel the carbon tax for your school is incorrect please email As a guide, we expect a typical secondary school to pay between £6 - £7k in carbon tax, a primary school to pay around £700 - £1000 and a special school in the order of £1,500 to £2,000.  The County Council will pay the tax on behalf of all schools and then recharge the appropriate amount.  The mechanisms for recharging is being looked into and all schools will be informed as soon as we have this information.

The Government has also set the following legislation as part of its carbon reduction programme that the County Council must comply with:

Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme

In 2010, the Government announced as part of its Comprehensive Spending Review that the Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme (CRC) would become a carbon tax with participating organisations having to purchase outright carbon credits equivalent to their carbon emissions. In contrast to the original CRC scheme, none of these payments will be re-cycled to the participants; instead the money will effectively become a tax on energy usage.

In CRC terms, the County Council’s carbon emissions amount to around 120,000 tonnes per annum of which schools account for approximately 80,000 tonnes. The price of purchasing carbon credits has been set by the government at £12 per tonne which means collectively schools will have to find around £1m from school budget shares to purchase carbon credits associated with their emissions.

More information

If you would like more information about carbon legislation, please email