The original Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) deadline was back on 5th December 2015, and is long gone; however the Environment Agency has published a list of the 60% of firms who did actually submit in time. Non-compliant businesses were given a grace period of up to 29th January 2016 to comply with the scheme, before the Environment Agency undertook enforcement action.
In a newsletter published last month, the Agency has announced it has put in place a dedicated ESOS Enforcement Team to investigate qualifying organisations that have not completed and provided notification of a compliance assessment.
Being a mandatory scheme, ESOS requires all companies with more than 250 employees or a turnover of more than €50million to undergo a form of energy assessment which will produce detailed reports on their energy use and efficiency every four years.
Qualifying organisations that have not completed and provided notification of a compliance assessment by 5th December 2015 are in breach of the regulations and at risk of enforcement action and penalties. Enforcement action will not normally be taken provided a notification of compliance was received by 29th January 2016. For organisations committing to achieving compliance through ISO 50001 certification, enforcement action will not normally be taken as long as notification was received by 30th June 2016.
Some companies have interpreted the enforcement as only affecting those organisations deemed to be at highest risk, following the announcement. However, Bureau Veritas is warning companies that those who were deemed not compliant by the set deadlines are currently being reviewed and may hear from the regulator regarding enforcement action.
Axel Du Mesnil, project manager at Bureau Veritas said: “From our experience helping a large number of our clients comply with the ESOS regulation in the UK our advice would be to act quickly and take action towards compliance now. If you missed the deadline but are compliant already then you should submit your notification of compliance straight away.”
Du Mesnil added: “If you missed the deadline and still have work to do before becoming compliant, there is an online form to explain why you missed the compliance deadline and when you expect to be able to comply. In taking these steps now, you could avoid or curb the potential fines and to reap the rewards from the required energy audits.”