The new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) that measures the energy used by company cars will increase the need for fleet managers to keep accurate business and private mileage records, says mileage capture provider Vertivia.
The Government sponsored energy-audit scheme is a response to EU regulations under the Energy Efficiency Directive.
The scheme is being run by the Environment Agency (EA) and will be mandatory for businesses that either employ at least 250 people or have fewer than 250 people but an annual turnover of more than £42.5 million and a balance sheet exceeding £35.5m.
The audit, which covers a 12-month period and will see businesses measured in energy units or energy expenditure, operates in four-yearly compliance phases.
Organisations in the UK must assess whether they are a qualifying businesses on the qualification date of each phase, the first of which is December 31 this year.
Those businesses that are qualifying will have to start submitting energy reports from December 2015, including energy used by company cars.
ESOS audits must be carried out by lead energy assessors, who must meet a number of competence requirements, while the EA has the authority to issue penalty notices up to £50,000 for non-compliance.
The new rules will make reporting on fleet energy use mandatory and emphasis will also be placed on any element of grey fleet that exists within the business.
One challenge for fleet managers is being able to identify the business and private mileage split in company-provided vehicles because private mileage is excluded from ESOS reporting.
Vertivia is currently discussing with the Energy Saving Trust ways that businesses can meet the requirements of the new energy audit. Vertivia is the EST’s approved partner for mileage capture.
Paul Chater (pictured), sales director at Vertivia, said: “Accurate mileage capture and differentiation between business and private miles becomes even more important under ESOS.
"We are currently working with the EST on a number of customer implementations where the new regulations have come under discussion.
“An online mileage management solution will allow fleet managers to automatically comply with the new regulations, without dramatically increasing the administrative burden they already face, by accurately capturing all mileages.
“Its introduction will also allow the more accurate recording and downloading of genuine grey fleet miles.”
There are other advantages to implementing such a system, as well as the obvious compliance benefits, Chater believes.
“Our own research shows categorically that companies see a dramatic fall in recorded business miles after installing a mileage management system,” he said.
One major UK fleet witnessed a fall in recorded business miles of 5,546 miles a year per driver, some 25.7% of the company’s total business mileage, following the introduction of Vertivia’s mileage capture system.
The analysis also showed that at the same time as recorded business miles went down, so recorded private mileages as a proportion of the total went up - from an average of 18.5% to 24.7% for the fleets analysed.
Chater added: “Our findings prove conclusively that the introduction of a mileage capture system, like Vertivia Mileage Management, can, through the completely accurate online recording of all mileages, have a profound effect on the business miles driven and claimed by company drivers.
"The very fact that there is total transparency in the way the miles are captured, does seem to have a dramatic impact on driver behaviours. Such a solution should therefore be ideal for helping meet the new ESOS regulations.”
For more on ESOS click here.