So, you’ve procured the best energy rates available on the market, implemented the correct energy management procedures and trained your staff up appropriately. After all your hard work, the last thing you want is unnecessary fines imposed on you because you’ve failed to meet basic compliance standards.
But what’s the key legislation you need to watch out for to stay up-to-date as a UK business?
Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS)
Introduced by the UK Government, ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for large organisations throughout the country. The scheme impacts businesses who employ 250 or more members of staff or have an annual turnover more than €50m and an annual balance sheet total in excess of €43m.
With the first phase of the scheme ending in December 2015, businesses are now preparing for phase two, which requires compliance by 5 December 2019.
To be compliant, a business must:
- Measure their total energy usage for buildings and transport.
- Conduct a comprehensive energy audit to identify key energy users and cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities.
- Appoint an ESOS-accredited assessor to conduct the audit.
- Report compliance to the Environment Agency (England), NRW (Wales), NIEA (Northern Ireland) or SEPA (Scotland).
Businesses can be fined a combined total of £60,000 with an additional combined £1,000 for each further day non-compliant up to 80 days. A false statement to the agencies can incur a further fine of up to £50,000.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)
The EPBD is the European Union’s main legislative instrument aiming to promote the improvement of the energy performance of buildings.
The directive is split into three main areas:
Display Energy Certificate (DEC)
DECs are designed to show the energy performance of public buildings.
Public authorities must have a DEC for a building if the following are all true:
- It’s at least partially occupied by a public authority (e.g. council, leisure centre, college, NHS trust).
- It has a total floor area of over 250 square metres.
- It’s frequently visited by the public.
Public authorities must display their DEC in a prominent place clearly visible to the public, e.g. near the building’s entrance. They can be fined £500 if they don’t.
Air-Conditioning Inspections Report (Known as TM-44 Surveys)
As part of the UK’s response to the EU’s introduction of the EPBD, all businesses’ air-conditioning systems (greater than 12kW) require inspection at regular intervals (this should not exceed five years).
These inspections should be carried out by a highly qualified industry expert. Following this, an Inspection Report should be produced informing you of:
- The current efficiency of your units.
- Any recommendations for improving your current systems.
- Any faults, issues or concerns and suggested remedies.
- Suggestions on how to reduce your air conditioning use.
- The suitability of the system for the cooling area.
A legal requirement, businesses who are not compliant could potentially face financial penalties.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
An EPC is required for properties during the construction, selling or letting process. The certificate provides a detailed overview on the sites’ energy performance and the remedies needed to improve.
The certificate will rate how energy efficient your building is by using grades ranging from A to G (with ‘A’ the most efficient grade and ‘G’ the worst).
Regarding commercial property, the government has stressed that:
“You can be fined between £500 and £5,000 based on the rateable value of the building if you don’t make an EPC available to any prospective
buyer or tenant.”
With a team of Energy Management experts, we’re on hand to aid you in any queries you have.
Boasting a team of highly-skilled in-house engineers, we’re in the unique position of being able to perform ESOS & EPBD assessments for businesses just like you.
Whether you think you’re failing in some areas or are simply looking for the peace of mind that your current procedures are correct, simply give us a call on 0800 130 3514 for a quick chat.