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Dennis Flower, editor of Premises and Facilities Management looks at the likely impact of new legislation on commercial properties.

I’ve seen a number of examples of government schemes and legislation introduced in recent years that have attracted criticism from companies and industry bodies alike, so I’ve become somewhat sceptical towards these and a little confused over the seeming lack of ‘joined up thinking’.

Having previously discussed the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations in these articles, one of the main areas of concern was that around 800,000 businesses were thought to have failed to meet the requirements, despite the fact that it was one of the schemes to have received a higher degree of publicity.

PFM readers show growing interest around the topic of sustainability in all areas

Dennis Flower PfM Dennis Flower Editor of Premises & Facilities Management

SECR Reporting

As the editor of a respected industry magazine, it’s my duty to report on new developments and follow their progress, hopefully explaining the benefits these have delivered, with savings on carbon emissions and energy costs of particular interest to readers, due to growing interest around the topic of sustainability in all areas.

It is now just over a month since the government launched the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) legislation, which places a responsibility on large companies – as defined by the Companies Act – to further extend their reporting procedures in this area.

These businesses now need to update their reporting procedures in order to meet their carbon reporting obligations. 

However, it seems that many of those included within the remit of the new legislation are unaware of its existence and, therefore, unclear on what they need to do to ensure that their companies comply.

Whose affected?

The government estimates that the new regulations will apply to approximately 11,900 organisations and the requirements will need to be adopted by those FMs in large businesses with responsibility for the management of energy and carbon emissions.

But the question remains of how many FMs and their service providers are actually aware of the new SECR legislation and its requirements?

Stating that an estimate by "industry experts" showed a figure of around 30% of businesses included in the new reporting requirements were aware of these, the Energy Advice Hub reported that a request to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) about the level of awareness received the response that it was unable to provide an answer.

How many will adhere?

Although Companies House can refuse to accept company accounts that do not meet the SECR requirements, it has been reported that the BEIS has sent no formal notifications to the relevant businesses.

Compared with the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) regulations, however, which included potential fines of up to £50,000 for non-compliance, there are no plans for similar penalties for those not meeting SECR reporting rules at present, leading to questions on how many companies will adhere to the new SECR requirements.

Dennis Flower is editor of Premises and Facilities Management (PfM) magazine