Content Coms exclusive: The Environment Agency talks about ESOS progress and prospects
With just three weeks to go until the deadline, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) featured highly on the agenda at this week’s EMEX show in London. Jo Scully, the Environment Agency’s ESOS Project Manager, was there to answer participants’ questions.
Content Coms’ Client Services Manager, Esther Griffin was listening in…
- Jo Scully announced that as of 11th November 2015, only 850 companies out of an estimated 10,000 have notified the Environment Agency (EA) that they are compliant.
- However, past experience gives the EA hope: this year 48% of CRC participants didn’t submit their reports until a week before the deadline! Perhaps ESOS will follow a similar pattern, with a surge in submissions just before 5th December?
- There are around 850 approved lead assessors in the market, and feedback has been that this isn’t enough to serve all affected companies. This is why the EA has chosen to delay enforcement action until after 29th January 2015. However, Jo Scully stressed that the ESOS deadline has not changed from 5th December 2015.
- The EA’s approach will be to only serve penalties in the most serious cases, preferring to send enforcement notices.
- If firms are going to be late, they need to tell the EA when they expect to comply, and to be honest about it. Giving a realistic date, and explaining the reasons for delay will help a company’s case when it comes to enforcement action: circumstances will be taken into account.
- An audience member asked whether non-compliant companies will be published on a “naughty list”. The answer is no, but the EA has a legal requirement to publish the list of companies who HAVE complied. They will do that later in the year. From that it will be easy to work out who hasn’t!
- And Finally…… one audience member asked, ‘if, hypothetically, a manufacturing company was not able to submit until this time next year, what would the EA say?’. Jo Scully said they would certainly be in breach of enforcement notices, but reiterated her point about honesty, and letting the EA know the reasons why! Clearly for some companies, the ESOS deadline will be a difficult milestone to reach.