The Environment Agency has revealed that there was a major surge in the number of British businesses registering as being compliant with its Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) in recent weeks.
The rush to register as compliant with ESOS regulations came as the original deadline for demonstrating that compliance approached on December 5th.
According to the Environment Agency, the number of companies that were registered as being ESOS compliant stood at just over 1,500 on November 27th but jumped to more than 4,000 in the following week.
Registering as compliant with ESOS legislation requires companies with more than 250 employees, £40 million in annual turnover or a balance sheet worth more than £34 million to carry out audits on the energy use across their operations and submit their findings.
The Environment Agency initially set a deadline for compliance on December 5th 2015 but announced in October that it would not sanction companies that register compliance by January 29th 2016.
Despite the sharp rise in the number of UK companies registering their compliance with ESOS rules in recent weeks, there are still thousands of organisations nationwide that have yet to complete energy audits and have them verified.
However, the Environment Agency has indicated that it expects a majority of companies to achieve compliance with the ESOS rules in the coming weeks and meet the January 29th deadline.
“Of course we’d have liked all organisations to be compliant by 5 December but we believe that the vast majority of organisations are both aware of their responsibilities and intend to comply,” the Environment Agency’s programme director Jo Scully said in a statement emailed to Business Green.
“Our focus remains on bringing organisations into compliance with ESOS to ensure that the scheme delivers the energy savings and financial and environmental benefits intended,” she said.
Scully went on to make clear that any company that qualifies for the ESOS green audit rules but fails to demonstrate and register its compliance before the end of January will face enforcement action in due course.
“It will take time to process the notifications but we plan to write to all organisations we have not heard from, but that we believe qualify, to remind them of the need to implement the scheme, its benefits, and the risk of enforcement action against non-compliance,” she said.