UK companies were previously warned they must carry out an ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) audit by 5 December 2015 or they risk being the subject of enforcement action by the Environment Agency.
However the Agency has now stated there is a degree of flexibility it can exercise in taking enforcement action.
It will not impose ESOS fines for an organisation until the end of January 2016 if they have appointed a Lead Assessor by 5 December and notified the agency that they cannot fully comply by that date. Even in these cases the agency may decide to issue a further enforcement notice which allows an additional three months before a fine is imposed. However, The Environment Agency has warned organisations taking this route that they should do as much as possible in advance of the deadline, and may be asked to provide evidence of their efforts to comply.
Organisations in any doubt about what steps they must take to comply with ESOS should download the latest ESOS guide.
Kevin Greenhorn, Managing Director of SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions, says businesses are running out of time to get their audits carried out.
He said: “Companies must act now to be sure they have at least appointed a lead assessor by 5 December. This legislation will not just ensure businesses are more energy efficient but could identify significant cost savings to the tune of £1.6bn.
“Good energy management starts with a thorough audit of consumption. Based on the results, there is a wide range of action companies can take to reduce their overheads and realise significant cost savings.
“Energy management is a crucial part of responsible business practice today – both in terms of the environmental impact and the financial benefits for organisations.
“SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions can provide support which enables businesses to be smarter about their energy use but time is running out for them to comply with ESOS so they need to engage an experienced provider like us quickly to get the tailored insights to help optimise their energy efficiency.”
SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions is one of the UK’s leading providers of energy management solutions with clients in retail, education, health and construction sectors including ASDA, Etihad, London Aquatics Centre, Glasgow City Council and Scottish Courts Service.
As one of the only integrated full service companies in the UK it can carry out ESOS audits for businesses but also support them in order to act on the findings.
SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions carries out everything from building assessment and installation, to energy monitoring and efficiency management; this can be as simple as producing a thermal chart mapping the heat loss from your building or as complex as installing a Building Energy Management System (BEMS).
Its UK-based Energy Management Centre is staffed by engineers 24/7 and remotely controls buildings across the UK and beyond to ensure they’re operating efficiently.
The ESOS scheme is borne out of the European Union's Energy Efficiency Directive. All UK businesses which meet the qualifying criteria* are obliged to complete an energy efficiency audit every four years.
The audit must be carried out by a qualified Lead Assessor and reported to the Environment Agency. Failure to undertake an audit could result in a £50,000 fine and daily penalties of £500.
Visit our SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions site to find out more.
*An organisation must comply with ESOS if it qualifies as a large undertaking on either of the following conditions: