Businesses should be legally required to act on ESOS recommendations, say MPs
A report by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee says that the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) does not go far enough in inciting businesses to act on efficiency.
According to evidence quoted in the report, only five per cent of businesses are currently taking forward ESOS audit recommendations in full. To drive meaningful change, the report wants Government to mandate that businesses act on energy saving opportunities identified. It also suggests that ESOS reports be made publicly available.
ESOS is a mandatory scheme that requires large organisations to carry out energy efficiency assessments of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport every four years, to identify cost-effective energy saving measures. There is currently no legal requirement to implement the energy saving measures identified.
Far reaching changes to commercial energy efficiency regulation
The report also recommends a raft of changes to energy efficiency policy across the domestic and commercial building sector. These include Raising the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for rented commercial properties to EPC Band B by 2035, (with milestones of D and C in the lead up time) and introducing the public disclosure of operational energy data for the commercial sector from 2020.
The report also says, ‘We see no reason why the “world leading” levels of energy efficiency that will be provided by the Future Homes Standard cannot be extended to new commercial buildings. In the upcoming review of Building Regulations, we recommend the inclusion of an equivalent energy efficiency standard for the development of commercial buildings, not just homes. By 2025, no new commercial buildings should be built that will require energy efficiency retrofits.’
While these are simply recommendations at this stage, it’s clear that businesses will see their compliance obligations expanded and tightened in the near future. We will keep you updated with regulatory changes as they are set in law.
Are you affected by ESOS or other commercial energy efficiency regulations? If you would like help with compliance, get in touch with our team.
Read the full report.