Industry media has recently seen a spike in reports of Environment Agency audits being carried out on companies suspected of being non-compliant with phase one of ESOS. As a result, we’ve been receiving a number of concerned calls!
What exactly is ESOS anyway?
The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) was implemented in 2014 as a result of Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. It is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for ‘large undertakings’ in the UK and requires an ESOS assessment every four years. The ESOS assessment requires that you calculate total energy consumption across all fuels for a set twelve-month period, and then carry out an energy audit of the significant energy (or take an alternative compliance route such as ISO 50001).
The first compliance deadline was 5 December 2015, and Valpak assisted a wide range of companies in achieving compliance by this date. The Environment Agency (EA) is now conducting audits to ensure that the requirements of phase one were met by all affected companies. For any companies assisted by Valpak, we’re here to help should you receive any correspondence regarding audits – it’s all part of the service.
Enforcement and costs
The EA has estimated that 90% of those affected did comply on time, which means the other 10% may need to act now to avoid enforcement actions. The EA has confirmed that they are actively sending out enforcement letters to companies that they believe are non-compliant, with a three-month period to comply. Failure to comply with the enforcement notice can lead to a fine of up to £5,000 and an additional £500 for each working day until compliance is achieved. However the EA has the discretion to apply a much larger fine and a company can be liable to a civil penalty of up to £50,000 and publication for failure to undertake an energy audit.
So far common reasons for non-compliance that we have come across include: lack of awareness, misinterpreting employee-calculation methods, failure to correctly assess the financial qualification level, and failure to correctly assess the company structure. We can help you understand whether you’re obligated, and ensure you meet the requirements quickly and efficiently.
If you did comply in 2015, bear in mind that you are required to retain your ESOS evidence pack for eight years.
Next compliance period
And why not start preparing for the next compliance deadline! While it may seem a while away, the phase runs from 6 December 2015 to 5 December 2019 so it’s worthwhile checking the thresholds now. If you know you’ll meet them, you could undertake audits or obtain ISO 50001; work carried out now can contribute to your ESOS assessment. This spreads the cost and resource, avoiding a last minute rush for Lead Assessors leading to a price increase.
Valpak can help: whatever level of support you need, whatever stage you’re at, we can ensure you comply in full and on time. Contact us today via firstname.lastname@example.org
or give us a call on 01789 208 753 and we’ll be happy to help.