Is anyone else dismayed by the recent DECC figures on ESOS?

The latest Environment Agency ESOS Newsletter summarises the results of a recent survey carried out by DECC on 100 of the large organisations that will have to comply with the requirements of the Governments Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.

Posted on 17 August 2015.

The report states that in June 2015 over half of businesses (56%) reported that they have already taken steps to start complying with

ESOS and 94% of those intending to conduct an audit were confident that they would be compliant by the deadline.  78% of businesses were aware that they must comply with ESOS by 5 December.

Forgive me if I’m taking this too literally, but doesn’t that mean that 44% have taken no steps to ESOS compliance, 22% are unaware of the ESOS deadline and 6% of organisations are already saying they may miss the deadline?

It’s not like they didn’t know it was coming!  If they have managed to miss the various direct communications from DECC, they can’t possibly have missed being bombarded from every quarter with ESOS articles, blogs, webinars, workshops etc. etc.

So if we can rule out ignorance as a factor, what is the reason for the slow uptake?  Are British organisations still not committed to the energy saving agenda?  Have they been reassured by low prices at the pump and ‘softer’ statements on climate change this year?  Perhaps they are not convinced about the win-win result of saving energy – less energy means better environmental outcome and reduced costs.  Everyone’s a winner.  Or perhaps they are unconvinced that the EA will issue the fines that are promised for non-compliance.  We are still assured that there will be no extension to the deadline so if these stats are to be believed, there will either be a mad scramble to engage a lead assessor and get audits completed or a lot of people are going to be in the line for fines.  Perhaps these fines will go some way to paying for the extra administrative burden placed on the EA for working out who has and has not complied and collecting the fines.  They won’t do anything to save energy however.

Whichever way you look at it, if more organisations don’t get their skates on this won’t be a win-win, everyone will lose out; the environment, the organisations and consumers because cost savings can’t be passed on.  It’s a shame, because the figures from the report also tell us that only 2% of respondents thought that their businesses would fail to act on findings from their ESOS audits.

ESOS presents a genuine opportunity for the majority of organisations to save energy.  We should all be seizing this opportunity.

(Download EA Newsletter 4 here)