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Audits planned to encourage businesses to slash energy usage

A new set of mandatory energy audits, with the express aim of encouraging fleets to take up new energy-saving methods and cut greenhouse gases are to be introduced by the European Union.

A record of energy used by company vehicles must be now accounted for under new legislation set to be brought in next year for companies with more than 250 members of staff. These new rules are not to be confused with the energy laws put in place last year for companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, however.
To ensure meeting the European Union’s Efficiency Directive, the government has implemented the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which it is suggested will help reduce corporate mileage wastage.

When the legislation takes effect, all companies with a payroll of more than 250 employees or a turnover of more than £40 million must complete an audit every four years. The exception to this rule will be public organisations and charities, which will be exempt from the EU directive.

Qualifying companies must then measure total energy output across the board for the preceding 12-month period – including transport, buildings and industrial activities. The very first report to be made will occur on December 5 2015 and will be sent to the scheme administrator of the Environmental Agency.

The business must then include a series of recommendations aimed at improving fuel efficiency and environmental awareness, complete with an in-depth analysis of estimated costs and the proposed benefits.

The government says companies can only be expected to achieve cost benefits arising from avoiding waste regarding energy costs if they follow the self-proposed recommendations properly. It has been suggests such recommendations could lead to a collective saving of £1.6 billion – a figure considered to be conservative when considering that this would only require a 0.7% energy saving in the next 15 years.

Former energy minister, Greg Baker said: ‘We know that many businesses in the UK are already committed to energy efficiency.
‘But we also know that there is still significant untapped energy potential in the UK economy. ESOS will help large organisations identify savings they can make on energy bills.’

ESOS has been established by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which has calculated that around 9,400 companies will qualify, with 8,500 assumed to operate fleets.


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