Government launches digital tool for firms to report energy data

Written by Sam Trendall on 16 March 2020 in News

Service will allow users to submit information via XBRL

Credit: Adobe Stock

The government has developed a digital tool to allow businesses to meet their new carbon-reporting obligations.

From 1 April 2019, almost 12,000 large and mid-sized firms across the UK have been required to provide annual information on their energy usage and measures they have taken to improve efficiency. Larger corporations run as limited liability partnerships are required to do so in a dedicated yearly report, while other businesses can include carbon data in the directors’ report section of their annual accounts.

Other businesses outside of the scope of the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) legislation are also invited to provide this data on a voluntary basis, should they so wish.

Three government agencies have jointly developed a “taxonomy” – a system of classifying digital assets – that allows for this information to submitted in XBRL format. 

Related content

Based on the XML data format, XBRL is the technology framework through which a large number of businesses already file their financial reports.

“Many companies already submit accounts using XBRL, but this is the first time it has been utilised to capture environmental data in annual reports,” said a joint press release from the Financial Reporting Council, Companies House, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Director of digital at Companies House Ross Maude said: “This is a fantastic example of cross-government working to deliver a digital service that addresses an important issue. Understanding the role businesses have in reducing energy and carbon emissions is central to delivering the UK’s ambition to reach net zero by 2050. Through effective collaboration, we can make it easier for businesses to play their part.”

Companies House and the Financial Reporting Council are jointly responsible for ensuring businesses comply with the new legislation.

Jennifer Guest, project director for taxonomies at the FRC, said: “Enabling companies to file their SECR reports digitally within their annual financial report is an important step in improving transparency of companies’ energy reporting. The SECR taxonomy has been carefully designed so it can be used with other accounting taxonomies making it simple and easy to use.”


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Can government destroy its legacy?
20 January 2022

As much as half of government’s near-£5bn annual spend on IT is dedicated to the maintenance of ageing or unsupported tech. A range of digital leaders tell PublicTechnology about the...

HMRC warns small firms on digital VAT deadline with two-thirds still to register
11 January 2022

Companies with less than £85,000 of taxable revenue must switch to online system from next fiscal year

Struggles of HMRC border IT system cause import delays
6 January 2022

Hauliers report being stuck on the other side of the channel as a result of issues with new GVMS platform

Are your Christmas presents spying on you?
4 January 2022

With many around the country receiving technological gifts, experts from government anti-espionage unit UK NACE explain why smartphones are the ‘perfect eavesdropping devices’