Nearly half of British manufacturers (45%) are unprepared for the government’s mandatory energy audits which kick in next year, claims a new poll.
A similar proportion (49%) say they aren’t even aware of the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) while two-thirds (69%) feel uninformed about its requirements.
The worrying statistics come from a survey of more than 100 decision makers at manufacturing businesses across the UK by energy supplier npower.
Companies which don’t comply with ESOS will get fines of up to £50,000 plus extra charges of £500 per day for up to 80 days.
The government challenged the statistics, claiming its own research indicates two thirds of businesses are aware of ESOS, with awareness rising as the 5 December 2015 deadline draws nearer.
The scheme has not had a smooth take-off. Last year ELN raised the alarm over a possible shortage of trained auditors to carry out the audits.
Wayne Mitchell, head of npower Business Solutions criticised “significant shortcomings” in the way the policy has been communicated and will be put into practice.
He said: “I strongly believe that if we want to encourage the business community to embrace energy efficiency then we must do a better job of making the case for it to do so.”
However the Government said it has spoken to more than 1,000 business representatives through roadshows, webinars and other events, while the Environment Agency sent more than 13,000 letters to a named director at firms which it believes may qualify for ESOS.