22 June 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
About 1,500 organisations under the Environment Agency's jurisdiction might qualify for the ESOS scheme, but have failed to engage with it so far, according to an investigation by the body.
In a newsletter sent out to those signed up to receive information about the scheme, the Environment Agency said: "We have been working hard to investigate these organisations and towards the end of 2016 we accelerated this investigation.
"All investigation work is now complete and we have confirmed that around 500 of these organisations do qualify for the scheme. To date, we have served over 300 enforcement notices to bring these organisations into compliance and will continue to serve enforcement notices during the present financial year.
"We received notifications from around 1,000 organisations (via our online portal) stating that they do not qualify for the scheme. As part of our investigation work we have assessed over 80 per cent of these organisations to ensure that they have correctly assessed their status. As a result, we have identified a number of organisations that have incorrectly assessed themselves as non-qualifying. We will be serving enforcement notices on these organisations during this financial year."
Sebastian Grey, director of consultancy 2EA, said: "Phase 2 has begun, and now the Environment Agency has confirmed that ESOS is still full steam ahead, we'd recommend to all participants who qualify for this phase to start gathering relevant data now and choose a route to compliance.
"The end of phase 2 is 2019. The reason we have recommended data collection and compliance routes now is because, unlike phase 1, phase 2 has a couple more years for participants to get organized, and there is no excuse not to be. Otherwise, we will have a repeat of phase 1, where everyone is cramming the process of ESOS into one year, which is not good business practice."