The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which came into force last week, will require large businesses to measure the total energy consumption across their buildings, transport and industrial activities and conduct audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency recommendations. However, businesses are not required to implement these recommendations.
Under the scheme, a large business is defined as having 250 or more employees, or both an annual turnover exceeding €50m and a balance sheet exceeding €43m.
Each company that falls under this definition must notify the Environment Agency by 31 December 2014, and then report back its compliance by 5 December 2015. Audits must be carried out every four years thereafter.
The new law will apply to all pub companies, but only managed houses will be required to audit and report on energy use from their pubs. For tenanted pub companies, it would cover energy use in other departments, for instance head office and warehouses, but would not apply to pubs where tenants pay the bills.
The Department of Energy & Climate Change estimates the average cost per business for each audit will be about £6,600, but predicts each business can save £35,400 per year if the cost-saving measures are implemented.Businesses that fail to carry out the assessments could face a penalty of up to £50,000 and/or an additional £500 per day penalty for each day the organisation remains non-compliant, for a maximum of 80 days.
A spokesman for the BBPA said: “As we said in our response to the consultation,we are concerned about the costs for businesses, given that many will already be measuring and monitoring energy use, not just through good business practice, but through participation in other Government schemes, such as Climate Change Agreements and the Carbon Reduction Commitment.”
He added the BBPA would work with the Environment Agency and Government to ensure compliance costs are minimised for its members.
Andrew Whelan, director of EPCforProperty, said: “It is a scheme that will benefit companies in terms of saving energy."