One recent poll suggests that large number of organizations, over 40%, are not aware of their need for compliance. ESOS applies to large undertakings (typically more than 250 employees) but excludes the public sector. So it is understandable that a lot of people think ESOS is not for them. That said, at the heart of the regulations is a half-decent model for energy management. But I guess not many will take up the path of voluntary compliance!

Many commentators are making much of the potential £50,000 fine for failing to undertake an energy audit. It should be noted also that the fine increases at £500 per working day for up to 80 days after the notice is served. But I think there is potential a bigger penalty and that is ‘publication’. My understanding is that defaulters could be ‘named & shamed’ on the ESOS website. Publication is a penalty option for all aspects of non-compliance. For a ‘brand name’ I think the impact of this will be far greater than the financial penalty.

Coming up to a general election is the time for polls and for ESOS this is no different. Another poll showed that of those questioned 75% have yet to start their audits and over 50% have yet to appoint a Lead Assessor. If you follow the original DECC guidance you can understand why some may be ‘slow’ in appointing a Lead Assessor as the flowchart suggests it is step 6 out of 7. The current Environment Agency Guidance has the Lead Assessor as Section 6.

 
Here I am sharing with you four pieces of advice that I think will prove valuable.

 
1. If you don’t think you are covered by ESOS, double check. If in any doubt seek guidance. Your site/company may not qualify, but you may be part of a group that does, so review the next item.

 
2. Understand the structure and ownership of your organization. If there is one large undertaking in a group, all members of that group need to comply. Are you sure that this will happen? Also about half of the Environment Agency compliance notification ‘form’ is about company structure so you need to know this to complete the submission. If in doubt, talk to your company secretary.

 
3. Appoint a Lead Assessor as soon as possible. A good Lead Assessor will help you understand ESOS and work with you to identify the most cost effective, least risk compliance route. Not all Lead Assessors are equal – check out more than they are qualified for ESOS – there are 13 registers and the entry requirements vary greatly. Also check that their Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance is in place and covers ESOS.

 
4. If you are in CRC understand the differences between CRC and ESOS. CRC only covers electricity and natural gas used for heating; it is based on a fixed reporting period. ESOS covers all energy used and the current reference period is a flexible year that includes 31 December 2014. You can use CRC data for ESOS but you also need to include the energy not covered by CRC. If you are in CRC considering making your ESOS reference year the CRC year. Also cross check you CRC ‘ownership’ position with that for ESOS. Another difference is the guidance – the handbook for ESOS is 78 pages, that for CRC (Phase 2) is 176!

 

As you would expect JPC can offer a full range of support services for ESOS. Initial consultations are free and with no obligation. We are also able to help with a wide range of energy management support for all organizations – large and small; public and private; UK & international

If you think we can help, or you have a question do give me a call or drop me an e-mail.

John

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