The Environment Agency have confirmed that around 40% of the 10,000 businesses expected to be obligated by ESOS were non-compliant on the extended 29 January deadline.
They revealed that 5,948 notifications of compliance and exactly 1000 notifications of intent to comply were received by the deadline. This leaves around 3,000 organisations non-compliant with the scheme and at risk of enforcement action.
The Environment Agency confirmed earlier in January that any organisations obligated by ESOS who submit a notification of compliance after 29 January would be at risk of enforcement action. They also stated that each non-compliance would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The maximum penalty for ESOS is a £50,000 fine and up to £500 for each working day the organisation remains non-compliant, for a maximum period of 80 days.
However, the ESOS guidance document does state that civil penalties will only be used in the most serious cases.
Commenting on the deadline day numbers, an Environment Agency spokesperson confirmed this, stating "Our focus is on bringing organisations into compliance with ESOS and we will start contacting those organisations that have not yet complied this month. We will normally use enforcement notices to bring organisations into compliance and only issue civil penalties in the most serious cases."
The Environment Agency have also stated that they will normally allow a three month period subsequent to the deadline to allow non-compliant businesses to remedy the failure and ensure compliance with the scheme before they start to issue fines, meaning that the ultimate deadline would be 29 April.
For businesses who are yet to comply, this means you must be proactive and appoint a LEAD assessor so that you can notify the Environment Agency of intent to comply sooner rather than later.
Karthik Suresh, Director of Ameresco, who are a partner of Comply Direct said "ESOS provides private sector businesses with the opportunity to save money by improving energy efficiency. Sadly, despite more businesses signing up in recent months, so far ESOS has been an opportunity lost as only around 70% of eligible businesses have registered for the scheme or notified the Environment Agency of their intent to comply.''
If you are yet to comply with ESOS and need to appoint a LEAD assessor, or would like further information about the benefits of the scheme, please do get in touch today to speak with one of our ESOS experts.