With less than 60% of obligated businesses not making the original deadline for ESOS compliance of 29th January, a grace period of three months was given by the Environment Agency. However, as the period came to an end (29th April) there are still in the region of 3,000 ESOS qualifying organisations unaccounted for.
Environment Agency Responds
When asked about the enforcement process that will go ahead, the Environment Agency said, “We have recently started contacting organisations who we believe may be captured by the ESOS regulations and have not complied with the requirements of the scheme. All cases will be reviewed, with enforcement notices used where necessary and civil penalties served in the most serious cases. Our focus remains on bringing organisations into compliance with ESOS to ensure that the scheme delivers the energy savings and financial and environmental benefits intended.”
The Environment Agency has been quite lenient so far with regard to deadlines, but businesses should not take this to mean ESOS compliance is optional. Penalties for non-compliance are substantial at up to £500 for each working day that a company is in breach of the scheme, for a maximum of 80 working days, as well as fine of up to £50,000. While the EA is mainly focussed on helping businesses to become compliant, they are reviewing cases and serving penalties where necessary, such as the £73,000 fine for the Ministry of Defence site at Brize Norton.
A Third of all Businesses still not ESOS Compliant
David Tobin, an energy consultant from Carbon Trust has said that based on a sample of 86 full ESOS audits carried out by the Trust, the average energy cost reduction that could be achieved stood at 20%. With the average energy costs of ESOS qualifying organisations sitting around 1.8m, businesses could be looking at annual savings of around £360,000 on their energy bills when implementing the reductions identified by ESOS.
While the costs of fines incurred by non-compliance may push many businesses to act, the energy savings that can be made by carrying out an ESOS audit should be reason enough in itself! However you look at it, with savings on energy bills of up to 20% for those that comply and substantial costs for those that don’t, it pays to be ESOS compliant.
If you would like to discuss how IDS can help you to become ESOS complaint, call our team on 0115 944 1036 or email [email protected]