Whilst there has been some relief that officials at the Environment Agency have offered some leniency towards the ESOS deadline of 5th December, there is question marks surrounding what actual benefit the extension provides.

The Environment Agency announced that the compliance deadline for organisations who qualify for ESOS has been extended to the 29th January 2016. However, all businesses must still have communicated to the EA by the 5th December if they do not expect to reach this deadline in time.

Considering the season the deadline falls on, this olive branch on the EA's part has raised several concerns as to the effectiveness of the deadline which has been introduced. Inenco CCO Dave Cockshott said: ?Given the extension is only until 29th January, with Christmas shutdowns and busy trading periods for those not closed, it is in effect only a four-week extension. This is insufficient to address the backlog of companies still requiring an audit. At present only 150 businesses are fully ESOS compliant and Lead Assessors are being asked to take on work that they cannot deliver.?

Questions also surround what this actual deadline means. The initial deadline of 5th December was set by the EU Energy Efficiency Directive meaning this deadline is still very much in place, however the regulators, i.e. the EA are able to "waive or modify" enforcement action and penalties relating to non- compliance. As long as you communicate by the 5th December that you won't be hitting this deadline then you should be safe in the knowledge you have another 4 week grace period.

A spokesperson from the EA however warns that businesses should still do as much as they can before the deadline as it will "look more favourably on firms that can show they have taken serious and timely steps towards compliance". This can include booking a lead assessor, starting to collect or analyse data and beginning to conduct site visits for assessments.

If you want to discuss the requirements around ESOS, need to book a lead assessor or have any questions in regards to compliance get in touch with our Lead Energy Engineer at amber: john@amberenergy.net