The number of firms submitting compliance notifications for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) to the Environment Agency (EA) has continued to rise a year after the deadline closed, reaching almost 7,000.
The mandatory energy assessment scheme required ‘large undertakings’, estimated to total around 10,000 companies across the UK, to submit energy audits to the ESOS regulator by 29 January 2016. However, less than 6,000 did so with the EA estimating that around 3,000 companies who had failed to engage with the government body were at risk of penalties.
However, 1,000 companies had submitted notifications of intent and according to the latest available data up to 31 January 2017, the total number of completed ESOS submissions had reached 6,801.
The dataset released by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the EA yesterday suggests this represents almost the complete number of firms which will take part in the scheme. It includes details of 31 additional companies that have submitted late intent to comply notifications and have yet to fall in line with the scheme.
The various companies give a range of reasons for this late compliance, including a lack of energy auditor or lead assessor availability; shortage of data needed for the scheme; and late awareness of the scheme.
Some still require an assessment of total energy consumption, determination of significant areas of consumption and even some that have yet to carry out energy audits.
At least two of these firms do not expect to complete their ESOS compliance until as late as 2020, over four years late compared to the original deadline for the scheme. It is unclear what action the EA will take, as the regulator has previously stated its preference for only issuing civil penalties “in the most serious cases”.
These can vary between £25,000 if this failure relates to the first compliance period but can rise to £50,000 with daily fines applied in both cases.