Energy Efficiency Regulations

Author:Mr Robert O'Shea, Pat English and Gina Conheady
Profession:Matheson
 
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New compliance requirements introduced by the European Union (Energy Efficiency) Regulations 2014 (the "2014 Regulations"), which came into force on 4 December 2014, are now beginning to come into focus for companies falling within the remit of the legislation. The purpose of the 2014 Regulations is to give effect to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) which identifies measures that must be introduced by EU Member States in order for the EU to meet its binding energy efficiency and emissions targets. The most significant aspect of the 2014 Regulations for companies in Ireland is the establishment of the "energy audit scheme". Any company that has: (i) more than 250 employees; and (ii) an annual turnover exceeding €50 million or an annual balance sheet total exceeding €43 million, is required to carry out energy audits. The first energy audit must be carried out prior to 5 December 2015. The next audit and subsequent audits must take place withinfour years of the previous energy audit. The audits must be carried out by either: (i) independent registered energy auditors; or(ii) in-house energy auditors registered under the energy audit scheme and who are obliged to provide audit details to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (the "SEAI") upon request. The SEAI has established a national registration scheme for energy auditors. A person shall not be considered for registration as an energy auditor unless they meet certain minimum criteria. There is currently a discrepancy between the 2014 Regulations and SEAI guidance in relation to what companies are required to carry out an energy audit. The SEAI guidance states that the energy audit scheme may apply to any company that has: (i) 250 employees or over; or (ii) an annual turnover in excess of €50 million and an annual balance sheet total in exceeding €43 million. Given the need to confirm the applicable criteria to allow clients determine whether the obligation...

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