The Environment Agency (EA) announced last week that 300 Enforcement Notices have been issued for non-compliance with Phase 1 of ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme). The ESOS newsletter confirmed that out of 1,500 organisations that the EA thought might have qualified for the scheme but had failed to take part, 500 have been confirmed as qualifying. Civil penalty proceedings have commenced against many non-compliant organisations. ESOS is a mandatory scheme that requires large businesses to identify energy savings measures through energy audits. Both the audits and final verification are delivered by a certified ESOS lead assessor. Data collection is an important element of ESOS because it is a stipulation that a total energy assessment is submitted. The collection of transport data can present a challenge for some companies and, therefore, it is advised that collection methods are put in place as early as possible. For companies that already have ISO 50001 certification in place, no further action on ESOS is required as long as all of your energy is covered by the international standard. If it only covers part of your energy, a Lead Assessor can advise on further action required.
Approximately 6,800 companies complied with Phase 1 of ESOS and compliance audits of these companies has now started. To date, 16% are compliant, and 75% are compliant with remedial actions required. It is important to ensure that an Evidence Pack is kept in place ready for a possible audit. The EA says, “We have carried out over 200 compliance audits and expect to conduct a further 180 this financial year.”
We are now in Phase 2 of ESOS, which runs from 2016 to 2019. If you know your business will qualify for Phase 2, now is the time to plan your energy audits, which can take place at any point within the compliance period. By making a rolling assessment of buildings, companies can spread the costs and plan audits to take place at a time to suit each site. In addition, conducting earlier audits at sites that have the greatest scope for energy efficiency can maximise any benefits. The EA underlines this approach in its newsletter, stating, “ESOS participants can be auditing for the 2nd compliance period now”.