There could be leniency around fines for those businesses that show they have made an effort under the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).
That’s the view of Sam Bailey, Resourcing Manager at BIU.
She said although the government has yet to publish the full guidance on what will happen if firms don’t get their energy audits done, she believes the Environment Agency will be “more lenient and favourable” towards those that have done something.
Under ESOS, large organisations have to assess their energy use and could face fines if they fail to meet the 5th of December deadline, which Ms Bailey personally believes won’t be extended.
“One of the key messages businesses must understand is they’re going to need to do something. They can’t just bury their heads in the sand that this is going to go away or they’re going to get more time”, she said.
Ms Bailey believes firms “aren’t realising this is really happening and it is mandatory” as less than 200 companies have notified the Environment Agency of their compliance so far.
For those businesses that are starting the process now, she recommends the first thing to do is find a good lead assessor.
“Find somebody with the expertise to get your surveys and reports done quickly, efficiently and can identify really good savings for you because as we all know the whole point of this is to drive energy savings. Don’t just treat it as tick box exercise even if you’re panicking about the deadline; get somebody in who’s good, who can build your case and look towards getting both compliance and value out of it”, Ms Bailey said.
She adds a lot of assessors have “just popped up overnight” and while they may be qualified, businesses will need someone who has the experience and is able to understand and identify what they need and help make a difference.
She advises companies to ask for proof of their track record and testimonials and warns: “Don’t go for anyone who’s going to guarantee you’re going to hit your compliance deadline at this stage. Choose someone from an established consultancy with the industry and sector knowledge to ensure you get the most out of the process.”
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