ESOS Phase 1 non-compliance exposed

The Environment Agency has released the long anticipated list of those companies who were non–compliant with ESOS, alongside details of the fines imposed upon them.

There has been significant demand over the past couple of years for these details to be made publicly available to persuade those who chose not to comply with their mandatory obligations, to reconsider their position from Phase 2 and beyond.

It has been consistently highlighted in the review of Phase 1 that there were numerous non–compliant companies, with the main reasons being speculated as a lack of preparation time between the legislation being enacted and the expected Phase 1 compliance period, companies acting under the impression that enforcement of fines would not be seen through, and companies viewing energy efficiency and carbon emissions as a lower priority meaning the cost of undertaking an ESOS assessment was often seen as an unnecessary financial and time consuming burden.

However, the publication of the recent prosecution list should highlight to those companies who were non–compliant, or those questioning why they are now needing to start Phase 2, that this scheme is now considered a crucial part of the UK reducing its energy use and associated carbon emissions, that enforcement is going to be seen through and prosecutions will penalise those who fail to comply.

The details published suggest the fines issued were between £1,500 - £45,000 depending on the scale of non–compliance. Some companies completed their ESOS audit and assessment but then either failed to notify the Environment Agency of their compliance or were late in doing so, or on a more concerning scale, failed to complete any stages of Phase 1, hence the much larger fines.

Elmhurst Energy has long emphasised that in many cases where investment is made in reducing energy use and improving energy efficiency, the capital cost is quickly regained through the cost savings associated with spending less money on energy consumption. For those companies who incurred a fine, they now not only have to continue spending more money than necessary on energy bills and maintenance but also have to pay their penalty fee. When considered, it will often be the case that the cost of the ESOS assessment will be much less than the overall savings that can be made, savings that can then be reinvested into maximising the profitability of the business.

Phase 2 of the scheme is now underway and with the publication of the IPCC Summary for Policymakers being released this week, highlighting that Climate Change is forecast to reach the 1.5°c temperature rise threshold much sooner than previously anticipated, businesses are being called upon, more than ever, to measure and manage their energy use, minimising the substantial impacts they have on emissions. Elmhurst are keen to see how Phase 2 of the scheme develops now that companies are fully aware of their obligations and would like to anticipate all companies to be compliant in the near future.

ESOS Lead Assessor Training

An ESOS Lead Assessor can sign off a company's ESOS report, to prove compliance with the scheme. With ESOS Phase 2 fast approaching, now is the ideal time to become a trained and registered ESOS Lead Assessor.

You can take a look at the ESOS Lead Assessor courses that Elmhurst are running by clicking below. 

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Article Published: 10th October 2018

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