Based on readily available data from edie (www.edie.net) and the Energyst (theenergyst.com), I have prepared a graphical representation of the compliance chronology of the ESOS Notifications to the Environment Agency since May 2015 to 29 January 2016.
Readers familiar with statistics will note a familiar trend, where the ESOS compliance follows the traditional initial compliance response, which is relatively flat followed by a sharp, steady increase as more undertakings make their notifications as they approach the deadline.
There are two distinct increases in compliance through Notifications to the Environment Agency, namely ahead of the original compliance deadline (5 December 2015) & the additional compliance deadline (29 January 2016).
As it stands at the time of this post (2 February 2016), there are, now, 5,948 undertakings that have made a Notification of Compliance and 1,000 undertakings that have made an Intent to Comply leaving a potential 3,000 undertakings that have not met either of the deadlines and are, now, either working towards compliance through the route of an accredited ISO 50001 certification for their energy consumption or are non-compliant. It should be noted that the deadline for the ISO 50001 route to compliance is 30 June 2016.
With respect to the non-compliance situation, the Environment Agency’s Enforcement and Sanctions Guidance details that the maximum penalty for failing to undertake an energy audit ahead of the compliance deadline is up to £50,000 plus up to £500 for each working day the company remains in breach of the scheme, for a maximum of 80 working days.
However, the Guidance further states that civil penalties will normally be used only in the most serious cases and that, for the first compliance period and new entrants in subsequent compliance periods, the Agency would normally allow up to three months to remedy the failure before issuing any fines, meaning that the ‘ultimate’ deadline would be 29 April. This enforcement position introduces a further deadline of 29 April 2016 for any non-compliant undertaking to secure compliance or face enforcement action.
It will be interesting to see what will be the final compliance level & how many large undertakings complete their route to compliance through energy audits delivered after the 29 January 2016 deadline and how many take the accredited 50001 certification route.