Retail sector needs clarity over ESOS fines during pandemic, says Advantage Utilities

by | Nov 18, 2020 | News | 0 comments

Advantage Utilities, a business energy and commercial utilities consultancy, is calling upon the Environment Agency (EA) to clarify its intended actions for enforcing the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) following an influx of calls from businesses receiving enforcement notices in the midst of the pandemic. 

The mandatory energy assessment scheme applies to large UK enterprises, requiring businesses to submit an energy audit to the EA every four years. With the deadline for Phase 2 having passed in December 2019, those failing to comply now face penalties of up to £50,000 as well as an additional £500 per day if the breach is not remedied. The uncertainty surrounding the penalties will create extra strain for businesses trying to survive a second lockdown. 

ESOS was introduced in December 2014 in response to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. The scheme, split into four phases, is designed to allow companies to identify flexible and cost-effective opportunities to improve their energy efficiency. Whilst no fines have been issued yet, there is great concern surrounding the financial burden this poses to businesses, especially during a time of economic crisis.

Andrew Grover, CEO of Advantage Utilities says: “There’s a lot to be gained from the ESOS scheme as it puts the UK in good stead for reaching its net zero targets and many companies actually stand to make long-term savings. However, a lot has changed since the deadline passed in December 2019. We are facing a very turbulent time here in the UK with many businesses operating with limited staff and cashflow. The last thing businesses need is more uncertainty and worry.” 

On average, organisations incurred £6,150 in additional external expenses in relation to the compliance of Phase 1. Around 1,500 companies failed to comply during the first phase and 300 enforcement notices were issued – with companies such as eBay and Gumtree among those fined over the two years following the deadline. 

Grover adds: “We’ve seen large organisations with ample resources miss the deadline in Phase 1, it’s unsurprising that smaller businesses may be unclear or even unaware of the scheme in Phase 2.”

As England enters a second lockdown, businesses could stand to benefit from reviewing their utilities to support their bottom line. ESOS and other incoming initiatives, such as Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) intend to identify these opportunities whilst supporting companies on their way to a net zero UK.

more latest news ➡

GCA Barometer of Trade figures 'very good'

March BoT figures show a ‘very strong month’ says GCA

The Barometer of Trade (BoT) figures from the Garden Centre Association (GCA) for March 2024 have been revealed and are ‘very strong’ when compared with the same month last year. According to data submitted by the organisation’s member garden centres, none of the...

Rajesh Gupta joins DObbies

Dobbies Garden Centres appoints Rajesh Gupta

Dobbies further strengthens its senior leadership team with the appointment of Rajesh Gupta as Strategy and Business Development Director. Rajesh qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and has 20 years’ experience in retail working in strategy, business...

Marcus Eyles leaves Dobbies

Marcus Eyles departs Dobbies after seven years

Marcus Eyles has decided to move on from his role as Horticulture Director at Dobbies to pursue a new chapter in his illustrious 40-year career. Marcus joined Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, in 2017 as Head of Online, before progressing to...

One4all and Dobbies enters partnership

Dobbies partners with One4all gift cards

One4all Gift Cards, is excited to announce its partnership with Dobbies Garden Centres, the UK’s largest garden centre retailer with 77 stores nationwide and nearly 160 years of expertise. Dobbies Garden Centres champion garden living all-year-round offering...

Ben Harrison announced as GCA chairman elect

GCA announces Chairman Elect for 2024/2025

The GCA has announced its Chairman Elect for 2024/25. Ben Harrison, who is Operations Director of Haskins Garden Centres, is stepping into the role and will become Chairman at the GCA’s annual conference in January 2026. Ben says: “I’m delighted to be taking on...

Notcutts celebrates at annual awards

Notcutts annual awards highlights team success

The family-owned garden centre group, Notcutts, gathered at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth on March 14th to celebrate the successes of its colleagues across all 19 garden centres nationwide. The event, attended by over 140 colleagues, family members and...

Read GCR's latest edition!

Subscribe ToThe Wednesday Word

Subscribe To
The Wednesday Word

 

Get all the latest news, events & more straight to your inbox every Wednesday.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This