Thousands flout ESOS deadline – the EA must act to impose fines

The Environment Agency has repeatedly issued warnings of the substantial fines that will be imposed on organisations that do not comply with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). Despite this, nearly 35% of qualifying organisations had not registered either their compliance, or notification of late compliance, by the 5th December deadline.

Posted on 22 December 2015.

Jes Rutter

According to DECC, only 6451 of an estimated 10,000+ organisations had registered by the deadline. Of these, they estimate that 6,100 will be compliant by 29th January, the extended date for registration, with the balance achieving compliance through ISO 50001 by the 30th June.

At COP 21 in Paris, our Government was one of 196 nations that pledged to reduce CO2 emissions as with the aim of restricting rising global average temperatures to “well below” 2°C levels. If these ambitions are to be achieved, a tightening of corporate energy management regulations in the UK is inevitable. It is thought that one mechanism for doing this will be to use the basis of ESOS to create a ‘super ESOS’, which will incentivise or mandate organisations to deliver the savings opportunities identified in the ESOS audits.

If this route is to stand any chance of being effective, it is essential that the EA acts to ensure that those organisation that are currently non-compliant are brought into the scheme without delay. They must use all their powers to ensure that ESOS is taken seriously by all organisations and this may mean making an example of some companies by imposing substantial fines. Which organisation wants their stakeholders to know that they are not taking climate change and their responsibilities to reduce CO2 emissions seriously? This could be crippling publicity for any organisation!

What makes it worse is that we know from the many ESOS audits that we have carried out, that even when an organisation is committed to reducing energy consumption, there can still be further savings made. Some of these can be made with relatively little capital investment and a quick pay back. When companies aren’t energy savvy, the savings can be even more substantial!

If you are one of the 35% of organisations were not registered for ESOS by the deadline date, you should act without delay.

There is everything to gain from being ESOS compliant – and a lot to lose if you aren’t!

Jes Rutter, Managing Director, JRP Solutions