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New Carbon Restrictions May Trip a Third of British Companies, WSP Says

A third of U.K. companies and organizations may miss a September deadline to disclose information on their energy use, the consultants WSP Environment & Energy said.

About 7,500 groups are at risk of paying fines of 5,000 pounds ($7,600) for failing to register by Sept. 30 for the government’s so-called Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme, WSP said today in an e-mailed statement. Fines then compound at 500 pounds a day, the consultant said.

About 20,000 companies, universities and councils will be required to declare their energy consumption, according to the government. About 5,000 of those will have to buy permits for their carbon-dioxide emissions. They will be ranked each year in a league, with income from the plan redistributed according to carbon-cutting performance.

“Many companies remain unsure about the extent of their obligations, and our forecasts show that there will be a significant shortfall in registrations,” said David Symons, a director at London-based WSP. “A lack of awareness and engagement among participants could prevent thousands of companies from complying with the scheme on time.”

The plan covers companies that aren’t already included in the European Union’s cap-and-trade program for emissions. Those include Tesco Plc, the country’s biggest supermarket chain, Hilton Hotels Corp. as well as the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and local government authorities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net.

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