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Environment Agency to accept late ESOS entries

business surveyor esosWhile, the deadline still remains at 5th December 2015 to submit ESOS audits, a new amendment suggests that as long as qualifying businesses have notified the Environment Agency that completion will be delayed, then they’ll have until end of January to actually comply. The new measures were put into place as only 371 firms have complied with the ESOS requirements so far and many businesses have been unconvinced of the requirements as they haven’t been well publicised and very little education has been provided on the process. However, the ESOS scheme is a European-led initiative and therefore mandatory for the government to enforce. A spokesperson for the Environment Agency explained:
“The 5 December 2015 deadline for compliance is set in the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Regulations 2014 and cannot be changed. However, we are listening to the concerns of businesses and are aware that in some instances, firms may struggle to meet this deadline and, as regulators, we are able to waive or modify enforcement action and penalties. The regulations have not changed, this is about giving organisations clarity about how we will look to enforce them.”
The Environment Agency has therefore effectively extended the deadline by confirming that businesses ‘will not usually’ receive fines if they comply before 29th January 2016 and that only the most serious cases are likely to face civil penalties.
“We do not expect to normally take enforcement action on organisations that submit an ESOS notification of compliance by 29 January 2016 providing they have told us by the 5 December that they are going to be late.”
We’re slightly dubious about the use of ‘normally’ or ‘not usually’ as this still leaves an element of risk in surpassing the deadline without ESOS assessment submission. Business Juice are therefore advising all ESOS customers to get in touch so we can aid you with your assessment and help you avoid fines. At the very least, an official form of notification must be submitted to the Environment Agency to advise of late completion by 5th December 2015:
“Organisations that believe they cannot comply fully by 5 December 2015 will need to inform us of this by the same date via an online portal, giving information on why they have been unable to comply and when they expect to submit their notification of compliance. We will be issuing an online form to do this in due course.”
While this gives businesses some breathing room, we expect there to be a mad dash in January for lead assessment with 95% of those affected yet to comply, so we urge customers to book their audit in early. Booking in your audit before 5th December 2015, even if it hasn’t been completed by then, will ensure the Environment Agency accept your late notification with no consequences.
“We will look more favourably on firms that can show that they have taken serious and timely steps towards compliance so organisations should do as much as they can before the deadline even if they know they will not be in a position to comply fully by 5 December 2015. Such steps could include evidence of booking an ESOS lead assessor, starting to collect or analyse data for ESOS or beginning to conduct site visits for an assessment. Where an organisation submits a notification after 29 January 2016 the situation will be reviewed on a case by case basis.”
This is good news for businesses, who haven’t had time to get under the skin of the confusing requirements. Business Juice are fully up-to-date on ESOS requirements and can help your business to submit its late notification under the required procedures. We will ensure your company will not receiving fines as we have a direct relationship with the Environment Agency and will deal with them on your behalf. For help and advice or an ESOS quote … Get in Touch! Noel Varnish – Carbon Consultant Our Carbon Consultant, Noel Varnish is here to answer all your questions about how, when and why your business needs to be ESOS compliant and will be your first point of contact in all ESOS needs. e: t: 0800 051 5492 James Cutter – ESOS Lead Assessor Our Lead Assessor is James Cutter. James’ registration is held with ECMK who are one of the organisations accredited by the Environment Agency to register qualified ESOS Lead Assessors. James and the team have a nationwide reach and cover all aspects of ESOS criteria including Buildings, Transport and Process. e: t: 0800 051 5492

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