Business could find themselves with a very steep bill if they fail to take part in the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) assessment.
Qualifying businesses must show they have complied or intend to comply with their ESOS assessment by the deadline of this Saturday (December 5, 2015). If they fail to do this or contact the Environment Agency (EA), they face fines of up to £185,000.
ESOS is a mandatory check that takes place every four years for businesses that meet the qualifying criteria. During these assessments, the energy used by their buildings, transports and industrial processes are thoroughly looked at to determine whether any energy-saving procedures can be undertaken to improve efficiency.
The EA asserts that 10,000 companies may fail to notify their compliance by the deadline and risk the hefty fine, as it has only received 850 surveys so far. However, this figure could be a lot higher as many organisations might qualify without realising it.
David Llewellyn, chief executive officer at Servest, said employee numbers as well as company turnover both count towards whether a business qualifies or not. Those that have a turnover of £39m a year or employ more than 250 members of staff meet the criteria.
Businesses simply need to show their intent to comply by this Saturday, with the actual process of the assessment taking up to three months to go ahead. To do this, a lead assessor needs to be allocated by each company to start collecting data for the test.
Mr Llewellyn said: “With only approximately 850 lead assessors registered, of which we understand about half are in-house, there is limited spare capacity to support those who have not yet started the process.”
Companies that appoint a lead assessor soon may be able to defer enforcement action until the end of January. Therefore, those businesses that have yet to confirm a lead assessor have been advised by Servest to do so immediately, as this could help save them from paying a huge fine, even if they fail to submit their intention for compliance by the deadline.
Despite the substantial bill acting as a deterrent, the ESOS was set up as a way to save organisations money as well as energy. According to the government, savings of around £1.6 billion could be had by simply instigating energy-saving measures in workplaces and improving the efficiency of work buildings, travel and processes.
To submit your notification for the ESOS, click here.