Warning about new energy regulations

Liza Bailey and her daughter Helen Bailey took part in Small Business Saturday last year at their florist shop Seaside Florist on Hayling Island.

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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BIG firms have been urged to make sure they comply with a mandatory energy assessment scheme by the December 5 deadline.

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (Esos) is designed to cut energy costs across the UK, and applies to businesses which have more than 250 employees or an annual turnover in over £38,938.

Portsmouth NatWest commercial banking director Darren Clarke said firms should check if they need to adhere to the scheme, or risk copping hefty fines.

Mr Clarke said: ‘Many businesses may not have thought they qualified for the scheme, but they must include staff employed on a fixed-term, part -time or zero-ours contract.

‘The government has estimated that Esos will impact around 9,400 enterprises with between 170,000 and 200,000 buildings, so this new legislation is likely to affect a large number and wide range of businesses across all 
sectors.

‘We have spoken to customers who didn’t realise they would be required to take part in Esos.

‘Anyone who is not compliant by the deadline could be facing large fines – so I’d urge any business to make sure.’

Thomas Ridgely is an environmental consultant with advisory, support and consultancy service NatWest Mentor.

He said: ‘I would urge any business that does not believe it will comply fully by December 5 to engage a lead assessor immediately and start their compliance journey regardless.

‘The deadline has not changed but a little wiggle-room has been allowed.

‘Affected organisations will need to inform the Environment Agency via their online portal that they do not expect to comply before the deadline and explain the reasons why, as well as providing an expected date for compliance.’

To find out more visit gov.uk/guidance/energy-savings-opportunity-scheme-esos.