Double check your ESOS status before the regulator comes knocking

29th September 2016

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Anthony Vozniak

The Environment Agency is investigating 1,200 companies for non-compliance.

ESOS is the UK’s approach to meeting the EU Energy Efficiency Directive for all large enterprises to conduct an initial energy audit by 5 December 2015, and subsequently once every four years.

While the original deadline for ESOS compliance was December 2015, an extension took this to 29 January 2016 and, with an estimated 40% of companies covered not complying, a further three month period of grace was granted. It would seem that the agency is now pressing ahead with their follow-up investigations and have a dedicated ESOS enforcement team.

One of the reasons why the companies being investigated may not realise they are in breach of ESOS legislation is because the agency contacted companies they think are likely to need to comply, and have undertaken a programme of ESOS marketing awareness related activities.

However, there is an onus on the businesses to check if they are compliant. Understandably and rather unfortunately this can mean some businesses may unintentionally be in breach of the legislation.

Your company is required to comply with ESOS legislation if it has over 250 employees (though note that if your organisation is part of a corporate group there are some complexities in terms of how your business needs to report on ESOS); and if its annual turnover was over €50 million for the last financial period; and its company’s annual balance sheet is over €43 million.

EEF has a useful quick check compliance check tool which you can use to help you determine if you need to have the ESOS audit undertaken and to submit the report. The agency and government have also provided ESOS guidelines.

Some further steps to address compliance include:

  • contacting the Environment Agency to discuss ESOS with them, using their email address [email protected] or calling 03708 506 506;
  • following the instructions on the government ESOS webpages to declare ‘intent to comply’, or that your organisation does not qualify;
  • considering energy management systems (EnMS) you may already have in place, such as ISO50001, and notifying the agency, as certain EnMS activities qualify;
  • involving a ‘lead assessor’, an energy management professional authorised to conduct and/or sign off your ESOS assessment. ESOS lead assessors are members of professional bodies that have been approved by the agency. A full list of these professional bodies, and links to their registers of lead assessors, can be found here. Choose an assessor with experience in your sector and its specific technologies.

EEF also work with ESOS partners in the delivery of our environmental consultancy and energy services and if you have any enquiries we would be happy to chat with you.


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