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1,200 UK Firms Face Possible ESOS Enforcement Action

With the initial December 2015 ESOS deadline far behind us, and even the extended deadline of April 15th2016 long gone, figures now released by the Environment Agency show that only 60% of eligible businesses were able to submit their ESOS compliance documents on time. The published data lists 6,500 businesses that have achieved compliance as of 25th August 2016. This includes 81 companies who voluntarily decided to pursue compliance even though they fell outside of the eligibility criteria. Despite the last minute flurry of data submissions, around 1.2K businesses caught by the ESOS legislation remain non-compliant and those are expected to come under investigation by a dedicated enforcement team.

The good news

Despite failing to meet deadlines, many firms are continuing to complete and submit their compliance data and may therefore avoid investigation or penalty. In fact, the figure expected to face non-compliance fines has fallen from 3,000 as quoted in February 2016. The advice for those who have failed to comply thus far is to begin compliance measures now, and not to sit on ESOS data if it has been compiled but not yet provided to the EA.  Help is available for those who need it.

A closer look at the data

Only 118 of ESOS compliant firms have made their audits publicly available. However, headline data is available for all 6,542 businesses listed, and provides an insight into the ESOS experience so far:

  • Only 177 businesses have used internal lead assessors, with the significant majority having outsourced their ESOS requirements to a third-party.
  • Only 814 businesses have already defined energy efficiency targets as a direct result of the ESOS scheme, which translates as a missed opportunity to benefit from the possible savings identified.
  • One major success of the ESOS scheme is that it has resulted in raising awareness of energy consumption amongst senior decision makers. More than 1.5K businesses held board-level discussions of their audits. A further 2.1K saw discussion of audits by senior management teams.

Read our easy-to-follow compliance guides 

If you have yet to comply with ESOS, and would like to speak to an expert, please get in touch.