ESOS deadlines must be relaxed by Environment Agency to avoid thousands of businesses facing significant fines.
Businesses who have not yet started their Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) compliance will almost certainly miss the 5 December deadline. This is the message from leading energy consultancy Inenco Group, who have announced today that they are no longer taking any new ESOS compliance support orders for completion before the enforceable deadline of 5 December 2015.
Under ESOS, over 10,000 of the UK’s largest businesses must conduct a detailed energy audit across their business operations. Inenco’s experience working with hundreds of businesses has proven that compliance takes at least two months to complete, partly because of the need to compile and analyse significant data from across business operations. Businesses are risking non-compliance or poor quality audits if they attempt to rush to meet the deadline.
With just 150 businesses currently compliant, the Environment Agency would have to enforce penalties of up to £50,000 to any business that fails to comply. Whilst Inenco is confident that all of its ESOS clients will comply, the consultancy has serious concerns about the ability of 100% of the eligible 10,000 businesses to meet the deadline.
David Cockshott, chief commercial officer at Inenco, said: “There is now serious concern that thousands of businesses will fail to comply in time, risking financial penalties and missing opportunities to reduce energy costs.
“The Environment Agency must accept that enforcement needs to be relaxed to recognise those businesses partway through the process who underestimated the length of time required to complete. ESOS is a major opportunity for businesses to assess their energy reduction potential, and we won’t compromise on the quality of audit or recommendations.”
* Inenco is still accepting new clients to support with all aspects of ESOS, but clearly stating that delivery will not be before December 5.