Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) FAQs

What is SECR?

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) is a mandatory UK government framework that replaced the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy E­fficiency Scheme in April 2019. It was introduced by government to simplify carbon and green house reporting and reduce the administrative burden for companies. Companies that meet the eligibility criteria for SECR must submit a report in their Directors’ Report.

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When did SECR come in?

The Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013 amended the Large and Medium-sized Companies and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008 to require quoted companies to report information on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their Directors’ Reports.

The Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018 come into force on 1 April 2019 and apply to financial years starting on or after 1 April 2019.  The 2018 Regulations impose new obligations for what must be included in the Directors’ Report6 for quoted and large unquoted companies as well as imposing an obligation on large LLPs to prepare a new kind of report (‘the Energy and Carbon Report’).

Research shows that disclosure in reports tends to assist in the drive to reduce emissions and energy use because of investor and financial pressure. It is becoming increasingly important for investors to ensure their decisions are sustainable

Who does SECR apply to?

SECR applies to three different types of companies:

  • Companies listed on a stock exchange (“quoted companies”)
  • Companies that aren’t listed on a stock exchange but meet the Companies Act definition of “large”
  • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) that meet the definition of “large”.

The Companies Act 2006 defines large companies as those that meet at least two of the three following criteria:

  • Turnover of £36 million or more;
  • A balance sheet total of £18 million or more;
  • 250 employees or more.

Group Reporting

  •  If reporting at a group level then the energy and emissions data of all subsidiaries which are quoted companies, unquoted companies or LLPs must be included as well as those of the parent company.
  • You may exclude any subsidiaries data which the subsidiary itself, if reporting on its own, would not need to cover.
  • Remember that as your company grows organically or via mergers/acquisitions, you may become eligible for SECR, so you will need to review that annually.

What if my business is not registered in the UK?

You are exempt if your business is registered outside the UK. This includes overseas parent companies with UK Subsidiaries.

When does my SECR report have to be completed by?

When your annual report is due; SECR reporting is part of your annual returns to companies house, and is therefore aligned with your company financial year.  

Do I have to align my SECR report with my financial year?

Actually, no. Businesses are encouraged to align their information to aid comparability but it is not compulsory. If you choose not to align your report with your financial year, you should make this fact clear within your report.

What do I have to report?

Some SECR requirements differ for quoted and unquoted organisations.  The biggest difference is that quoted companies have to calculate and report all greenhouse gas emissions the company is responsible for, globally. They must also report all the underlying energy use that was used to calculate the figure for GHG emissions.

Large unquoted companies and LLPs just have to report on their UK energy use and associated emissions.

For Quoted Companies For Large unquoted companies and LLPs
Annual GHG emissions from activities for which the company is responsible including combustion of fuel and operation of any facility; and the annual emissions from the purchase of electricity, heat, steam or cooling by the company for its own use (Scope 1 & Scope 2) UK energy use (as a minimum gas, electricity and transport, including UK offshore area) (Scope 1 & Scope 2)
Underlying global energy use used to calculate emissions Associated greenhouse gas emissions calculated from UK energy use
Previous year’s figures for energy use and GHG Previous year’s figures for energy use and GHG emissions
At least one intensity ratio At least one intensity ratio
Energy efficiency action taken Energy efficiency action taken
Methodology used Methodology used


What is an Intensity Ratio?

Companies in scope must include at least one intensity ratio in their SECR reporting. The intensity ratio compares the emissions data with an appropriate business metric or financial indicator. This is for the purpose of energy efficiency comparison over time and with similar organisations.

This metric must remain the same year on year unless otherwise justified.

Example intensity ratios:

  •  Tonnes of CO2e per m2 for the property sector
  •  Tonnes of CO2e per million tonnes of production for the manufacturing sector
  •  Tonnes of CO2e per mile for the transport sector

It is recommended but not mandatory that the company compares back at least 5 years to show a trend in savings.

I heard that it is not just CO2 I have to report on what else do I have to report.

There are seven different greenhouse gases recognised as contributing to climate change:

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  • Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6)
  • While not required it is advised to report on Nitrogen Trifluoride (NF3)

These emissions have to be quantified and reported on, they do not have to have individual figures, although it is advised, but they must at least be reported as tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This is important – because although the bulk of your emissions is likely to be carbon dioxide (from the use of electricity, gas and transport), other greenhouse gas gases are, like-for-like, much more potent. For example, one tonne of nitrous oxide, emitted from fertiliser, has the same global warming impact as 298 tonnes (or has 300x the warming power) of carbon dioxide.

Do Academies have to complete SECR?

Yes, academies come in scope of SECR if they meet the Companies Act definition of “large”. If you are a multi-academy trust (MAT) and your annual financial reporting is for the MAT as a whole, you should consider the MAT as a whole when deciding if it is large enough to come within the scope of SECR.

What is Scope 1, 2 and 3 all about?

Only two of the three scopes are compulsory to report under SECR.

Scope 1 emissions (Direct) is the company’s direct emissions. These include emissions from activities owned or controlled by your organisation that release emissions into the atmosphere.  They are direct emissions. Examples of Scope 1 emissions include emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers, furnaces, vehicles; emissions from chemical production in owned or controlled process equipment.   

Scope 2 emissions (Energy Indirect) These include emissions released into the atmosphere associated with your consumption of purchased electricity, heat, steam and cooling. These are indirect emissions that are a consequence of your organisation’s activities, but which occur at sources you do not own or control.

Scope 3 emissions (Other Indirect) Emissions that are a consequence of your actions, which occur at sources which you do not own or control and which are not classed as Scope 2 emissions.  Examples of Scope 3 emissions are business travel in rental cars or employee owned vehicles. They are also known as “value chain emissions” or “supply chain emissions” because they are generated by sources connected to a business rather than by the business itself.

Only ONE type of Scope 3 emissions is compulsory to report under SECR, and it’s only compulsory for large unquoted companies and large LLPs: that is, the fuel burned during business-related travel if the vehicle involved is a rental or belongs to an employee who buys the fuel.


We already do ESOS so do we have to do this SECR?

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is separate from SECR, but many businesses fall in scope of both.

What about staff mileage, do I have to report on these?

Yes. If a member of staff is claiming back the cost of fuel for business-related travel, it should be included in your SECR reporting, whether they are driving their own car or a company car. Staff travel for the purposes of commuting to work, that they pay for themselves, is different and does not come under SECR. Your calculation of energy consumption and associated emissions for the purposes of travel should include the following:

  • Fuel used in company cars on business use.
  • Fuel used in fleet vehicles which you operate on business use.
  • Fuel used in personal/hire cars on business use (including fuel for which the organisation reimburses its employees following claims for business mileage).
  • Fuel used in private jets, fleet aircraft, trains, ships, or drilling platforms which you operate.
  • Onsite transport such as fork-lift trucks.

The following activities are not required to be included in your calculation of your total energy consumption but may be reported separately (including as part of Scope 3 emissions):

  • Fuel associated with train travel of your employees where you do not operate the train.
  • Fuel associated with flights your employees take where you do not operate the aircraft.
  • Fuel associated with taxi journeys your employees take where you do not operate the taxi firm.
  • Fuel associated with transportation of goods where you subcontract a firm or self-employed individual to undertake this work for you.

We have staff working from Home, do I have report on their emissions?

No, but it is encouraged. Emissions from employee home working are classed as “Scope 3” emissions – that is, they occur as a consequence of an organisation’s activities, but aren’t owned or controlled by that organisation. For large unquoted companies and LLPs, it is voluntary to report on most Scope 3 emissions, including those from home working. For quoted companies, all Scope 3 reporting is voluntary. But as businesses increasingly encourage more staff to work from home where possible, it is useful for your company’s net zero goals to have an idea of the emissions involved.

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