Interim report on the review on the benchmark systems in industriesーReview in 10 years after introduction

Interim report on the review on the benchmark systems in industriesーReview in 10 years after introduction

On 4th February, “The Working Group on EC Guideline for Factories, etc.”  (WG, Chair: Takaharu Kawase, Professor Emeritus at Chiba University) of the Energy Conservation Working Group of the Advisory Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (an advisory body of METI) compiled the interim report which reflects the discussions of FY2019. WG proposed a review of the benchmark system for industry sector, which has been in operation for 10 years. Considering the situation where benchmark targets were often failed, WG requested the business operators to quantitatively indicate the road map to achieve the benchmark targets, and requested the government to assist with priority for the energy conservation investment that contribute to achieve the targets. The target year is  FY2030.

The EC law requests the business operators in the industrial sector to achieve the target to annually reduce the energy intensity by more than 1% on the average over 5 years. In addition to these energy intensity targets, the law charges the energy-intensive industries for the medium to long term benchmark targets. However, not more than 10% of business operators have achieved both goals.

Therefore, WG proposed a scheme to support business operators who endeavor to achieve the target by setting the target year for the benchmark. First, WG requested business operators to indicate the energy conservation investment plan and the prospect of achieving the target in the medium to long term plan prepared by themselves according to the EC law. In addition, WG requested government to expedite the progress of the energy conservation measures to achieve the target by review of the periodic reports submitted by the business operators, to implement on-site surveys by focusing on the factories and buildings where energy conservation is delayed, and to take preferential treatment in subsidy screening when the business operator is expected to achieve the target through energy conservation investment. WG also encouraged the introduction of the supporting tool for preparing periodic reports on the Web from FY2021.

WG decided that the target year of all the benchmarks is the FY2030. The target level set for each type of industry will be reviewed as necessary in light of the achievement status and international standards.

In the interim report, WG also proposed a review of the “Business Classification Evaluation System (SABC Evaluation System)”, which indicates the degree of achievement for energy conservation target by business operators. Currently, the business operators are evaluated as the highest class of “S” when they achieve either energy intensity target or the benchmark target. However, as the number of types of industries applying the benchmark system expands, current rules may lead to burst the S rating. For example, for the business operators with multiple benchmark targets according to their products/businesses, they can obtain S rating even though their products/businesses that account for 80% of energy consumption have not reached its target, but the remaining ones that account for 20% of those have achieved it. Therefore, the conditions of the S rating will be reviewed, and the energy consumption of the products/businesses that achieve the benchmark target should be “50% or more of the whole.”