Qualifying organisations have until this Saturday, December 5, to demonstrate that they have made, or intend to make, an Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) assessment, warns facilities management company Servest.
Businesses that fail to contact the Environment Agency (EA) by the deadline could be subject to a maximum penalty of £185,000.
The EA, which administers ESOS on behalf of the Government, has estimated that circa 10,000 enterprises falling under the legislation, affecting up to 200,000 buildings, may fail to file their notification of compliance on time.
The EA began raising awareness of ESOS and the compliance procedure two years ago and, in recent weeks, has sent letters reminding company secretaries of the upcoming deadline and the penalties for failure to comply. Despite this, reports reveal that only 850 surveys have been submitted to the EA.
David Llewellyn, CEO of Energy at Servest, said: “Our research has indicated that there are still a significant number of companies that are not aware, or do not think, the legislation applies to them. Organisations that turnover significantly less than the benchmark of £39 million may believe they do not qualify for ESOS compliancy. This is not the case as employee numbers must also be taken into consideration, regardless of turnover.
“This means that companies which employ over 250 staff will need to submit their compliance report or intention to comply notification to the EA by the 5th December. For example, hotels turning over millions less than the threshold will still qualify if they employ over 250 part-time bar staff and zero-hour contractors for events.”
Qualifying companies must carry out ESOS assessments every four years, starting from the initial compliance date of 5th December 2015.
Although ‘Intent to Comply’ notifications need to be filed by the 5th December, the process itself can take up to three months and the first step is to allocate a Lead Assessor. Servest believe that there are still a significant number of businesses that have not yet appointed a Lead Assessor with responsibility for collecting site-based information required for reporting.
It is urging qualifying companies who have yet to appoint a Lead Assessor to do so with immediate effect. The Environment Agency has indicated it has some discretion under the regulations and that, providing those companies that miss the deadline can confirm a Lead Assessor has been or soon will be appointed, enforcement action may be deferred until the end of January, and later for those that choose the ISO50001 route for compliance.