For those working for organisations obligated under the ESOS Regulations or working as a registered Lead ESOS Energy Assessor, you will find significant news on the Environment Agency’s compliance approach to the ESOS Regulation contained in the revised version of its document: Complying with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, which is at Version 4 today (8 October 2015).
The principal changes are two-fold:
- Inclusion of enforcement position and link to the Environment Agency’s Enforcement and Sanctions Guidance in Section 9.1. Inclusion of references to this position in sections 2.1 and 8.1.
- Annex B – Clarification in Q18 of the notification that the number entered should only include ‘active’ entities. Clarification of Q25 and additional answer added to reflect enforcement position.
Special attention should be drawn to the new Chapter 9: Compliance, enforcement and appeals with the following approach described by the Environment Agency:
- Not normally expecting to take enforcement action for late notification provided it is received by 29 January 2016. This is not an extension to the legal deadline. Rather, it reflects the ability to exercise discretion when taking enforcement action.
- Giving until 30 June 2016 to achieve ISO 50001 (international energy management standard) certification as a form of compliance.
- A focus on bringing bodies into compliance using enforcement notices where necessary (normally allowing up to 3 months for organisations to remedy the outstanding compliance actions), serving civil penalties only in the most serious cases.
- In cases where the participant’s energy use is at a domestic level not normally enforcing the requirements for fully-compliant ESOS audits or alternative routes to compliance and lead assessor review. But the organisation concerned would need to make a notification, confirm their energy use falls below the domestic threshold, consider and document opportunities for reducing their energy consumption and record their compliance approach in their evidence packs.
- Organisations that qualify but have zero energy consumption will only need to declare this. In such cases other elements of the scheme will not normally be enforced.
In relation to the key issue, much discussed in social media, where an organisation is unable to make a notification of compliance by 5 December 2015. The revised document makes it clear that the organisation will need to inform the Environment Agency of this situation by the same date, giving information on why they have been unable to comply and when they expect to submit their notification of compliance via the ESOS webpage.
If you want to review the Environment Agency’s Complying with the Energy Savings (Version 4), please download here