99% of UK businesses risking ESOS fines 

Posted: October 9, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government, greenblob
Tags: ,

 More form-filling for UK businesses [image credit: KPMG]

More form-filling for UK businesses [image credit: KPMG]

Another wonder of ‘green’ bureaucracy: UK businesses could be forced to pay a fine of up to £50,000 plus a maximum daily top-up of £500 if they don’t comply with ESOS by December 5th.

Never heard of ESOS? Well, there’s the problem, or part of it. It’s the UK’s ‘Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme’ for large businesses. Business Surveyor UK reports.

According to a press release by Veolia dated 17th September, the Environment Agency has revealed that only 150 companies have submitted audits as part of ESOS. This is actually lower than the figure that had previously been reported, which showed 152 companies compliant as of 25th August. Veolia gained this information via a Freedom of Information request.

Pat Gilroy, Chief Operating Officer of Industrial Customers Veolia UK, which is helping companies carry out ESOS audits, said: “The fines are very big, but the intent of the scheme should benefit all. Even with the push to inform businesses it seems almost impossible that thousands of businesses will have their audits in on time. Part of the problem is that there is a colossal shortfall in the number of qualified auditors – an issue that is likely to get worse as the deadline approaches.”

“Not only are these companies risking fines, they are also missing out on the chance to reduce overheads by cutting their energy bills. I urge companies to pay attention to this warning and arrange their audits today to help save precious resources and improve carbon performance.”

Veolia says that over 10,000 unsuspecting UK companies could be heading for ESOS fines totalling over £900m if they fail to comply with the scheme and with 78 days to go, time is running out, especially for companies who need to hire an ESOS surveyor for the task. Companies that fail to complete their audits by 5 December face a basic fine of £50,000, plus £500 a day capped at a maximum of 80 days.

The Environment Agency has already sent out two letters to inform and remind companies about their ESOS obligations.

Source: 99% of Businesses Risking ESOS Fines | Business Surveyor UK

Strange to see businesses being harassed like this while Drax power station is allowed to burn millions of tons of wood pellets aka biomass. Surely any sensible business would seek to minimise its energy costs anyway.

ESOS – the who, what and why

  1. Joe Public says:

    ” Part of the problem is that there is a colossal shortfall in the number of qualified auditors –”

    1. It’ll help minimise the number claiming JobSeeker’s Allowance.

    2. A(nother) money-making scheme for those organisations providing ‘production-line’ Training Schemes.

    [Does anyone decide to buy a particular house simply because it’s got a favourable but mandatory EPC?]

  2. It’s typical of the civil service (fuelled by academic & BBC) anti-industry attitude that has been prevalent at least since Thatcher. And it’s this attitude which is the main reason I stopped working in engineering – because I was frankly fed up being treated like a second class citizen in a country which was created by British engineering.

  3. michael hart says:

    Scottish Sceptic, I agree that has always been the problem in the UK during my lifetime. For the most part, I’ve never really blamed the bureaucrats. They seem to be responding to the general UK attitude of contempt for maths, science, and engineering.

    Environmentalists and politicians, with a few honourable exceptions, generally dropped the relevant school subjects at the first opportunity. Then they return, some years later, spouting-off about how industry can improve efficiency, and what they are doing wrong. It is usually a base level insult to a couple of centuries progress and all the individuals who took part.

    It is one thing to complain about someone’s results, but a wholly different thing to tell them how to do it better. My current smart-phone and software sucks. But I’m neither going to press for new laws telling the manufacturers how to make a smart phone, nor demand a government department for cell-phone manufacture.

  4. Charles Brecknell says:

    I am a qualified ESOS lead assessor through the Institution of Chemical Engineering. I am a chartered chemical engineer & that level of qualification is required to a be a lead assessor. The 1 day course cost £1000 in Dec 2014. I reckon that there are about 500 qualified assessors & 10,000 companies to be assessed (this may be an over-estimate as there is double counting of subsidiaries). One would expect a high level of interest if only to avoid the fines, but no- I have had 3 enquiries, 1 from someone I met on the course & 2 from consultancy firms looking to recruit short-term. None have resulted in work for me. I think industry has gone on strike, not surprising when oil costs have halved since the scheme was instituted. In principle the scheme is worthwhile although they want firms to use much worse payback times than the industry standard (typically 2 years).

  5. Fanakapan says:

    Veolia ??

    Initial and probably knee jerk reaction to that name, is that they are a company that is Poncing off areas of activity that formerly were not considered businesses but essential public services ?

    Which might explain why they seem to be pushing this unproductive, and no doubt expensive process 🙂

  6. hunter says:

    Corrupt governments rely implicitly on criminalizing as many citizens as possible.

  7. ivan says:

    Veolia, isn’t that one of the companies that Gummer or Yeo were directors of but they had to stand down even though they have rather large holdings in it.

    I also think this ESOS thing was Gummer’s brain child designed to increase the family wealth.

  8. Fanakapan says:

    ”Fanakapan: you mean like collecting household waste?”

    Yes, and the whole boondoggle that ‘Recycling’ has become 🙂

    Penn and Teller had a series on US tv called Bullsh1t, and one of the episodes was about recycling, in which they made the observation that anything that was worth money was recycled without the need for interference from the G. Youtube probably would yield up the show, and its worth watching.

    I’m not surprised to see from ivans post above, the names Gummer, and Yeo connected with the firm. And in the news today I heard the name Ben Gummer in connection with the health ministry and the cost over run shocker of today.

    Its almost getting to the point where calamity and a Gummer go hand in hand 🙂