Businesses that haven’t started their energy audits will “most certainly” miss the deadline which means they could end up paying thousands in fines.
That’s the view of energy consultancy Inenco, which said it is not taking on any new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) compliance orders ahead of the 5th December deadline as “time has run out”.
Under ESOS, around 10,000 of the UK’s largest businesses must conduct detailed energy audits across their business operations.
According to Inenco, compliance takes “at least two months” to complete, partly because of the need to compile and analyse data.
However the company believes the fines should be “relaxed” for those businesses that may miss the deadline but have started the process.
David Cockshott, Chief Commercial Officer at Inenco said: “There is now serious concern that thousands of businesses will fail to comply in time, risking financial penalties and missing opportunities to reduce energy costs.
“The Environment Agency must accept that enforcement needs to be relaxed to recognise those businesses partway through the process who underestimated the length of time required to complete. ESOS is a major opportunity for businesses to assess their energy reduction potential and we won’t compromise on the quality of audit or recommendations.”
Only around 150 businesses have complied so far.