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Environment Agency Issues ESOS Update

In its latest ESOS update, the Environment Agency has given an update on enforcement and ESOS compliance.

Six months have now passed since the ‘grace period’ for late ESOS submissions, and those organisations implementing ISO50001 should also have achieved the status by the end of June 2016. So how did businesses get on with their first ESOS submission, and what will happen to those who have not complied?

Non-compliant businesses under investigation

Back in February, the Environment Agency published statistics suggesting that some 3000 businesses had not yet complied with ESOS. Since then, the scheme regulators have been investigating those organisations who have not yet made an ESOS submission despite being required to participate in the scheme: the EA predicts up to 1700 businesses are in line for enforcement action and a further 150 who submitted an ‘intend to comply late’ notification but who have not yet submitted. This action may begin with enforcement notices to bring organisation into compliance, but financial penalties of up to £50,000 are also a possibility.

Audits reveal common mistakes

The EA has also begun audits to assess compliance with the regulations and identify any common issues. Of the 51 audits completed, only 35% passed. However, the remaining 65% only had minor issues that required some remedial action to pass, indicating a ‘positive level of compliance’ in this first phase of the scheme.

The most common stumbling block was the organisational structure, with over half of businesses submitting an incomplete or erroneous structure. Other errors included board level sign off, the cost benefit analysis, and energy profiling.

Energy efficiency under review

The EA update also confirmed that research has been commissioned to investigate take up of energy efficiency measures by businesses across the UK. Recent research on the topic found other investments trumped energy efficiency in 23% of businesses, with 36% wishing for grants or funding support to implement measures.

Those 8000+ businesses in possession of a raft of recommendations from their ESOS audits could be sitting on opportunities worth thousands of pounds in savings: Inenco found that the average saving opportunity from the hundreds of businesses they supported with ESOS audits was 13%. Having made the effort to comply with ESOS, it pays to take action now to recover the cost of compliance and unlock further savings.

To speak to an expert about how to act upon your ESOS report, get in touch today.