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ESOS energy audits: Only 1% of companies have complied

It has been revealed that just 150 of 14,000 qualifying businesses have carried out an ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) energy audit, with the 5 December deadline fast approaching. The information came to light after a Freedom of Information request was carried out by Veolia.

ESOS was introduced by the UK government in order to comply with the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive, which commands that all its member states must force large organisations to carry out periodic energy audits.

By law, businesses employing at least 250 people or those with an annual turnover of over £39 million must have their energy-management systems audited. The aim of this mandatory scheme is to help organisations establish areas where energy-efficiency improvements can be made.

Non-compliant companies face a penalty of up to £50,000, plus £800 per day up to a maximum of 80 days. Veolia has calculated that British businesses could accumulate fines totalling more than £900 million should they fail to comply.

The Environment Agency had previously sent 14,000 reminder letters to businesses, but with the vast majority seemingly ignored, only 1% of firms have had an ESOS energy audit carried out.

ESOS is adamant that it will punish non-compliant organisations, so energy managers must urgently focus their efforts on meeting the mandatory regulations.

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