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Many British businesses 'still unaware of ESOS'

Many British businesses 'still unaware of ESOS'

Many British businesses 'still unaware of ESOS'

A new study has shown that a significant number of British businesses are still unaware of the government's Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), despite less than a year remaining before the programme's first deadline.

ESOS requires that large companies - defined as those with workforces of 250 employees and above, or otherwise an annual turnover of more than £40 million and a balance sheet of £34 million - audit their energy use once every four years, identifying practicable and cost-effective opportunities to boost their green credentials.

Manay businesses still unaware of Esos

The scheme's first round of audits are due in December, with financial penalties set to be levelled by local regulators at businesses that fail to comply.

However, according to a survey carried out by big six energy supplier npower, almost half (49 per cent) of UK manufacturing firms are not aware of the scheme and, by extension, of their new obligations.

A further 45 per cent of respondents admitted that they were as yet unready to meet the government's December 5th deadline for the programme.

Commenting on the survey results, nPower business solutions head Wayne Mitchell suggested that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) has fallen short in its responsibility to promote awareness of ESOS.

"There are significant shortcomings in the way the policy has been communicated and will be implemented," he said. "I strongly believe that if we want to encourage the business community to embrace energy efficiency then we must do a better job of making the case for it to do so."

For its part, a spokesperson for Decc told edie.net that it was "undertaking regular research to monitor awareness and compliance with ESOS requirements" up to the December 5th deadline.

"To date, our research has suggested that around two-thirds are aware of ESOS. Early indications of changes between waves are also suggesting that the level of awareness is rising as the deadline gets nearer," the source added.

More positively, the npower survey found that while many manufacturers are unaware of ESOS, most still take steps to improve their energy efficiency.

Some 62 per cent of respondents told pollsters that they were already investing in power-saving initiatives. A further 60 per cent added that they had carried out their own assessment of their energy usage in the past three years.

According to a Decc study published in November, large companies in the UK could save a cumulative £250 million per annum simply by cutting their energy usage one per cent - a figure that highlights efficiency could be as much a boost to business as an environmental imperative.

Separate government research, released earlier in the year, suggested that if the energy saving opportunities identified in ESOS are implemented, British businesses could save £1.9 billion between 2015 and 2030.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker