ESOS data shows low uptake of 50001

29th July 2016

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  • Business & Industry ,
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  • Auditing


Tim Hart

Just 325 organisations used ISO 50001 certification to comply with the energy savings opportunity scheme (ESOS), with a further 109 firms using it for some of their sites, latest data from the Environment Agency revealed.

Companies had until 30 June to comply with the regulation using the standard for energy management systems (EnMS). ESOS requires qualifying companies to audit their energy use every four years and submit reports to the agency. Data released this week covers all compliance notifications submitted to the agency under the first round of the scheme.

The EnMS standard is widely seen as the more complex and expensive route to compliance with ESOS, but also more effective, with 97% of organisations complying in this way saying that they intend to act on energy-saving measures identified compared with just 11% of those that used a different route, according to analysis by consultancy SGS of data published by the agency in February .

UK regulators of the scheme are now investigating 1,700 organisations for non-compliance, according to the agency. The agency was initially scrutinising around 1,500 English and Welsh companies, but has now revised this figure to 1,200.

A spokesperson for the agency said: ‘This figure includes some groups identified from consolidated accounts which may not actually qualify. Based on our enforcement findings to date we estimate up to 600 of these organisations will be required to comply with ESOS.’

They agency began enforcement proceedings in April, and says it has issued ‘a number’ of compliance and enforcement notices. It is only planning to use civil penalties in the most serious cases.

A further 150 organisations notified the agency that their submissions would be late, but have still not supplied them. The agency said it was monitoring the progress of these organisations towards compliance and will issue enforcement notices where necessary.

The agency has also audited a sample of 51 compliance submissions to identify areas were scheme participants were most likely to make mistakes. All firms audited passed, although remedial action was recommended in 65% of cases (see below). The agency said the figures demonstrated a good level of compliance with the regulations.

It is planning further audits between August 2016 and March 2017 and added: ‘Participants should be prepared for audit and ensure that they keep and maintain evidence to show how they have complied with the scheme in accordance with Section 8.4 of our ESOS Guidance Document.’

The business, energy and industrial strategy department (DBEIS) has commissioned research by Ipsos Mori and University College London to find out what energy efficiency measures have been taken up by businesses across the UK. The research will take place over the summer to feed into future energy efficiency policy. The Treasury and DBEIS are reviewing business energy efficiency taxes to find a way of simplifying overlapping schemes.

To access the agency's data, click here.


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