With less than four months to go to the ESOS deadline, real estate and capital advisory service Savills Energy is urging businesses that have yet to complete an audit to make arrangements now to avoid the risk of fines and penalties.
Under the ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) Regulations 2014, up to 15,000 UK companies will need to identify energy savings opportunities as part of an EU-wide drive to reduce carbon emissions. Businesses affected must complete an audit to assess 90% of their energy consumption across buildings, transport and industrial processes.
Time to get started
As it can take up to three months for an assessor to complete the mandatory audit, any business that has not already started the process should make arrangements to begin immediately to meet the 5th December deadline.
This will ensure all aspects of the audit are completed and signed off by an assessor and company director in time. It is not a process businesses should leave until the last minute if they wish to guarantee their compliance, warns Stuart Campbell, a director at Savills Energy.
“Businesses which fail to comply with ESOS could be fined up to £50,000, plus an additional £500 a day, every day the audit remains unsubmitted,” says Stuart. “Indeed, the Environment Agency has set out a range of penalties for non-submission, which means failure to comply could be an extremely expensive mistake.”
Savills Energy has produced a concise guide to ESOS compliance for businesses. This explains which organisations will need to undertake the assessment and what the process entails. The guide also outlines the penalty fees that will follow if businesses fail to comply by the deadline.
Covering the cost of compliance
“We believe that many businesses in the UK required to comply could recover the financial outlay of recommended actions within two years. Rather than seeing the process as a bureaucratic hurdle to jump over and forget, proactive businesses will identify the energy efficiency improvements the audit sets out as a very efficient way of discovering business-wide cost savings,” Stuart adds.
Any business or organisation that meets the ESOS qualification threshold must employ an approved lead assessor. Even if businesses decide to undertake some or all of the assessment in house, an assessor will need to review and approve all sections to ensure compliance.
Savills Energy has developed a specialist ESOS service to provide a structured approach to compliance. This ensures that legal requirements and deadlines are met and it works with companies to put energy savings opportunities in place.
As part of the compliance process, Savills Energy also provides advice on achieving compliance with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), and the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations.
For more information, please visit http://www.savills.co.uk/sectors/energy/esos–heat-and-energy-efficiency.aspx.
To download a copy of Savills Energy’s ESOS guide for businesses, please visit: http://www.savills.co.uk/sectors/energy/esos–heat-and-energy-efficiency.aspx.