Across the EU, more than 45,000 major firms are at risk of EU fines over a lack of compliance to new directives regarding energy wastage.
According to the UK’s Environment Agency, more than 3,000 British organisations are at risk of fines as they haven’t signified their agreement with the new rules.
A fine of up to 1 million euros could be levied against a company if they don’t reach the target, set at the Paris Conference at 32.5% energy efficiency by 2030. Even this may not be the final target, with a push towards 40% being suggested by environmental groups and NGOs. The targets currently apply only to large companies – those with over 250 employees or with an annual revenue of over 50 million euros. All 28 EU member states have their own separate requirements in addition to the EU’s overall targets (in a wide variety of languages and measurements), making energy auditing particularly difficult for multi-national companies.
These regulations won’t just affect companies – nations will also be required to comply, both by demonstrating that they are carrying out their own audits and checks on corporations, and also that governmental businesses and departments themselves are complying. Member states will also be required to divulge central figures for services provision (water, gas, etc). finally, national regulations such as building codes will need provisions for energy efficiency for, say, apartment blocks.
This most recent warning has come from the energy certification and consultancy body DNV.GL, which regulates corporate energy efficiency in both the UK and the EU at large. Prajeev Rasiah, Executive Vice President for DNV.GL, said: “Since each of the 28 EU member states has different compliance requirements, submitting the correct information can be cumbersome task. To simplify the process, our tool gives businesses access to a single knowledge hub of comprehensive information and policy experts who have deep knowledge of the regulatory variations and timescale requirements for all 28-member states.”
DNV.GL has urged companies to get ahead on their compliance proceedings so that they avoid the fine by leaving it too late. MEET8 (the new regulations are known as Article 8), DNV.GL’s new online tool is aimed at helping companies adhere to the rules and not get caught out by some of the more obscure regulations.
The current deadline that firms are required to announce their energy efficiency methods by is 5th December 2019, and the measures work in a 4-year cycle – meaning that companies will have had since late 2015 to put procedures in place. In 2015, the UK’s Environment Agency failed around 50 firms, who were then required to pay a fine, out of a total of 2,800 who had notified them of lateness.