Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)
New legislation requiring large companies to audit their energy usage to identify energy and carbon reductions has recently been introduced, affecting up to 10,000 businesses in the UK.
The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) requires businesses with more than 250 employees carry out comprehensive audits of all their energy usage, including transport. These must be done every four years, with the first completed and reported to the regulator by 5 December 2015. Audits must be carried out by an ‘approved’ Lead ESOS Assessor, either in-house or external.
Introduction to ESOS
ESOS is a compulsory programme of regular energy audits for ‘large enterprises’ to identify energy savings opportunities.
‘Large enterprises’ cover any Non-SME (small or medium-sized enterprise), i.e. that has 250 employees or more or an annual turnover > €50 million. Not just companies, this also includes partnerships and unincorporated associations, though the Public Sector is not required to participate.
Although each audit will result in a set of energy saving recommendations, the business is not obliged to follow them up. DECC estimates that ESOS could save each business an average of £56,400 per year with just £15,000 of investment.
One route to compliance will be if the company has implemented an Energy Management System certified to ISO 50001. Other initiatives can contribute to ESOS requirements, such as Green Deal assessments and the Carbon Trust Standard. Data gathered for the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme and mandatory greenhouse gas reporting will also be useful.
How to Comply
To comply with the ESOS Regulations companies should undertake an ESOS Assessment, including the following elements:
- Measure your total energy consumption for buildings, industrial processes and transport
- Identify areas of significant energy consumption, accounting for at least 90% of your total energy consumption
- Appoint a ‘Lead Energy Assessor’ to oversee the ESOS Assessment
- Identify cost-effective energy efficiency recommendations for areas of significant energy consumption
- Have the ESOS Assessment reviewed by a Board-level Director and approved by a Lead Energy Assessor
- Report compliance to the Environment Agency.
The deadline for the first report is December 2015.
If the organisation is fully covered by an Energy Management System (EnMS) certified to ISO 50001, it will not need to undertake a full ESOS assessment, but still must notify the Environment Agency of compliance with ESOS.