British manufacturers are unaware of and underprepared for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme assessments scheduled to take place this year, according to research from npower Business Solutions.
The findings demonstrate that, although the policy is designed to help large organisations cut their energy use, 49 per cent of manufacturing businesses stated they were unaware of the scheme, while 45 per cent reported being unprepared for the first of the Government’s assessments which are due by December 2015.
According to the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), implementing some of the efficiencies highlighted by ESOS assessments could save businesses more than £250m a year by reducing consumption by just 0.7 per cent.
And where businesses are prepared to invest in measures with a payback period of two years or less, this figure increases to £1.6bn a year. However, failure to comply with ESOS will result in fines of up to £50,000 and possible charges of an additional £500 per day for up to 80 days. Conversely, it is not mandatory for businesses to implement any of the energy saving measures the assessments will suggest.
Npower spoke to over 100 decision makers at manufacturing businesses across the UK about how they manage their energy use and the extent of which they are prepared for ESOS. The overwhelming majority (62 per cent) are already investing in energy efficiency, and a similar proportion (60 per cent) said they have already conducted their own assessment of their company’s energy use in the past three years. Despite this, and with less than a year until the first assessments, 69 per cent of respondents do not feel well informed about the requirements for carrying out an ESOS assessment.
Wayne Mitchell, head of npower Business Solutions, said: “There are significant shortcomings in the way the policy has been communicated and will be implemented. 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. As a result I fear the policy could prove to be something of a white-elephant, its potency significantly weakened by the fact manufacturers will see it more as a paper exercise rather than an opportunity to change their relationship with energy consumption.”