ESOS ‘inherently unfair’ for many business types


With the arrival of the deadline for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), Ward Security has described the scheme as ‘unsuitable and inherently unfair’ for many businesses that service the FM industry.

Businesses are obliged to comply with the scheme if they have over 250 employees, or an annual turnover of 50 million Euros and balance sheet exceeding 43 million Euros (or are part of a corporate group which meets either of those). As Ward Security’s Compliance Director Nikhil Kamboj explains, “For businesses that operate a manufacturing facility, site, or office which accommodates 250 or more employees, the challenge of compliance is straightforward. However, the nature of many service suppliers, such as security companies, makes compliance less than straightforward and somewhat unfair.

“We employ around 725 people, so are well within the criteria for compliance. However, over 90% of our staff are based permanently at client sites, which of course we have no control over. We have approximately 60 staff based in four buildings, but the majority of our staff do not work on our premises.

“There is no obligation to act on the findings of the ESOS assessment or to address any shortcomings highlighted, which makes it even more difficult to understand the rationale and justify the investment as it brings no benefit whatsoever to the business that we operate or our clients. I am sure we are not the only business that feels this way and there will be others who share our frustration that the criteria is unfair as there does not seem to be any exception in place to make allowance for companies like ours.”

With many businesses announcing they will miss the deadline for compliance due to a shortage of ESOS Lead Assessors, the Environment Agency announced in October an effective deadline extension until 29th January 2016 as long as businesses notified the Agency of intention to complete by the original deadline of 5th December.

Nikhil Kamboj continues “We have been frustrated by this issue to such a degree that David Ward, CEO of Ward Security Holdings, has written to the local Member of Parliament to highlight the flaw in ESOS and to ask for an explanation and justification of the reasoning and benefits to our business of compliance, and how it would add value to or improve the services that we offer. David also requested the MP to lobby for a fairer way of implementing this initiative in such a way that it takes individual company circumstances into account, with a recommendation that compliance exemption should be granted for businesses in our situation.”

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