As promised by the EA, it’s revised Enforcement and Sanctions Guidance has now been published. See Section E for the additional details on ESOS https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-enforcement-and-sanctions-statement#history.
There is also a new section 9.1 in the ESOS Compliance Guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/466515/LIT_10094.pdf
What’s good is that while the EA is acknowledging that there may be instances where organisations are unable to complete a compliant assessment by 5 December 2015, or where lead assessors are asked to take on work which they do not believe they can deliver by this date, they are not advocating an approach which relaxes requirements so much that it makes a mockery out of the regulations and penalises firms that have done things right and achieved compliance in a timely manner.
Where are you in the process? What is clear is that organisations should be doing as much as they can to comply before the deadline, including appointing a Lead Assessor (even if they cannot complete the work prior to the deadline because of other commitments).
Key points in synopsis:
* The deadline for compliance is not moving. Scheme regulators cannot amend this deadline.
* Qualifying organisations that do not complete a compliant ESOS assessment and notify the EA by 5 December 2015 will be at risk of enforcement action including the possibility of civil penalties.
* EA is not normally expecting to take enforcement action for late notification provided it is received by 29 January 2016. This is not an extension to the legal deadline. Rather, it reflects their ability to exercise discretion when taking enforcement action.
* EA is giving until 30 June 2016 to achieve ISO 50001 (international energy management standard) certification as a form of compliance.
* The focus of the EA is on bringing bodies into compliance using enforcement notices where necessary (normally allowing up to 3 months for organisations to remedy the outstanding compliance actions), serving civil penalties only in the most serious cases.
* Organisation that cannot comply fully by 5 December need to inform the EA of this by 5th Dec, giving information on why they have been unable to comply and when they expect to submit their notification of compliance.
* If an organisation makes a late notification the EA will expect them to keep records in their evidence pack of their efforts towards ESOS compliance, including appointment of a lead assessor, prior to the deadline.
* Evidence of efforts made towards compliance prior to the deadline will be taken into account in considering any enforcement action.
Check out how our ESOS Auditor solution can help you collect the required data, show how far along in the process you are, enable you to share the workload across different team members and connect easily with your Lead Assessor. As well as documenting your ESOS audit and saving opportunity outcomes – all in an automatically generated report. Plus, our solution meets Evidence Pack requirements if you are called for Audit.
Click here to watch a recording of our latest ESOS webinar which covers how much you can achieve with the ESOS Auditor in a short space of time, as well as how to demonstrate how far through the process you are.