ESOS – Are you on track?

ESOS – Are you on track? The mandatory Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) requires ‘large enterprises’ to have energy audits done every four years by an approved Lead ESOS Assessor & signed off by a board-level director. It may seem a bit of a pain to do this, but the commercial benefits are clear – save energy, save money, reduce risk and plan for the future. The deadline is just 12 months away - 5th December 2019 - so you should be starting your ESOS projects now, to beat the rush before the Lead Assessors get booked up again.   I work with loads of organisations to do their ESOS Assessment - what’s Involved? Measure Energy Consumption - Review energy uses & data for all relevant companies in the group - covering energy in buildings, processes, fuels & transport - to determine Total and Significant Energy Consumption. Audits - Conduct audits to identify energy savings opportunities. My approach is different from standard assessors as I particularly focus...
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Get ready for SECR reporting

Get ready for Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) New carbon reporting regulations are coming. The government recently announced its plans for new carbon reporting, starting in April 2019. The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations require carbon & energy information to be included in the company’s Annual Report. SECR applies to quoted and large unquoted companies registered in the UK (as defined by the Companies Act 2006 and fulfilling at least 2 of the following conditions in the financial year: >250 employees, annual turnover >£36m, annual balance sheet >£18m). The following information needs to be included in the Annual Report for that year: Greenhouse gas emissions - Scope 1 and 2 emissions arising from energy use in buildings & transport, including electricity, gas, vehicles & refrigerants (scope 3 remain voluntary). Large companies should report on UK activities; quoted companies will continue to be required to report on global energy use and carbon emissions. Details of the methodology for calculating emissions and a...
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CCL – Energy taxes on the rise

CCL - Energy taxes on the rise When you pay your energy bills, hopefully you’re aware that your business is paying a tax to the government called the Climate Change Levy. Large, non-energy-intensive organisations currently have to purchase allowances for the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they are responsible for, under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (the Carbon Reduction Commitment). The CRC has been seen as complicated & a burden on business, in that they have to forecast their energy use & financial plans accordingly. With the CRC ending next year, the government needs to somehow recoup this lost revenue. The increase in the CCL Climate Change Levy simply transfers the revenue collection to the energy bill, rather than a separate scheme. It is important that you are aware of this increased levy & how it will affect your energy bills. Many businesses just don’t think much about the cost of electricity & gas – they simply pass the bills on to the...
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Getting Boardroom Buy-In

Getting Boardroom Buy-In - my report back from edieLive Last week I attended the annual conference & exhibition edieLive at the NEC. It was a great mix of exhibitors, speakers, workshops & general networking. I met with clients & contacts - it’s always nice to have a catch up - plus I met plenty of new people - useful for collaborations, referrals, potential clients & simply learning from others. I also had a busy day in the Energy Efficiency Theatre, chairing & presenting two sessions. Here’s a summary of the main points I covered.   Getting Boardroom Buy-In Many environmental professionals have difficulties engaging with senior management, who may be too busy or simply not interested. So I gave some insights for getting boardroom buy-in. I first asked the simplest of questions - who are you trying to reach? This is Marketing 101 - you have to understand your target audience. I floated some ideas of what the Board wants & what’s important to a typical director. Then,...
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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)

Are you ready for MEES? From April 2018, rented buildings must meet new energy efficiency standards. It will be unlawful to rent or lease a property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below an E. This applies to new tenancy agreements now and in 2023 will expand to include all privately rented property included in existing longer-term leases. New tenancies already must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which have A – G energy efficiency ratings. Currently 40% of EPCs are rated D or below & 25% are the worst F or G ratings. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES), coming in to force in April 2018, requires the property to achieve an EPC of E or better. This means that if any of your offices, sites or buildings have an EPC with a rating of F or G, you will not be able to lease that property. You must upgrade to E or above before the lease is completed. There are five Exemptions...
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Making ESOS work for you

Making ESOS work for you We are now in Phase 2 of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) - the energy data review & audits must be completed, & then the notification of compliance submitted to the Regulator, by December 2019. Those companies that know they will qualify for the scheme (they meet the financial &/or staff thresholds) should be thinking about beginning the compliance process now - commission your energy audits early to avoid the rush as the deadline approaches. Although you won’t be able to calculate your Total Energy Consumption yet (it needs to include energy use covering 31st December 2018), the energy audits can be started now using data already gathered to inform them. Last time in ESOS, many companies were unprepared & spent a lot of time trying to locate the energy data needed. This wasted time & cost money, as the ESOS Assessor had to focus so much more on gathering & analysing quality data. One client provided me...
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Energy Efficiency Grants

Energy Efficiency Grants Did you know that there are grants & other finance opportunities available for businesses? Grants of up to £10,000 are available for energy efficiency works & other business development, though these will depend on your size (usually for SMEs), location & sector. Here are two examples of grants schemes that I know of in the South East.   LoCASE – business support for low carbon sector LoCASE is a scheme administered by the University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform to drive green business growth in East Sussex, Kent & Essex. There are two elements of the grants scheme, firstly to help SMEs in low carbon & environment sectors with business growth & R&D grants. Grants of up to £10,000 covering 40% of the cost, for projects to help grow your business or develop new products & services. Grants can fund: Energy efficiency measures Development finance - to enable expansion of the business (e.g. marketing costs) Plant & machinery - including re-tooling & installation of...
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Huge opportunities for SMEs to save energy

Huge opportunities for SMEs to save energy A survey recently by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) looked into how businesses have been managing their energy consumption.   They found that only 9% of SMEs had ever conducted energy audits on the business, while 69% of large companies had. The numbers ranged from 7% for sole traders to 84% of organisations with >1,000 employees.   This shows that there are huge opportunities for SMEs, particularly, to save energy & therefore save money.   I have found that businesses are put off conducting energy audits because they think they’ll just be told to spend lots of money - that the recommendations will all be about putting in solar panels or other expensive kit.   My approach to energy audits, however, is to look at not only technological options, but also at behavioural & operational changes which can often be no-cost or low-cost activities for quick results.   Back to the BEIS survey, of those SMEs that had done an...
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ESOS – The Challenges Last Time

ESOS – The Challenges Last Time I am Lead ESOS Assessor and was very busy during the first round of ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme legislation). Some of my clients started nice & early, but many came to me very late so I had to work extra hard to get everything done for them in time. Indeed, many companies only started to look at ESOS a couple of months before the deadline, so there was a huge rush and a lot of frayed nerves. Apart from the lack of assessors & short timescales, I noticed trends from ESOS Phase 1. I’m sharing these now, so that hopefully Phase 2 can run more smoothly for you. These are the sorts of challenges I saw: Company structure – this could be a problem, particularly for large groups with complicated ownership structures. Find all the companies in a group, the company registration numbers, all the sites, who is the Board member to sign off. Missed companies – although...
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ESOS Phase 2

Getting Started on ESOS Phase 2 Are you getting on with ESOS? We are now in the Phase 2 compliance period and, although the deadline of 5th December 2019 may seem a long way off, you should now be thinking about the compliance process.   ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for large organisations in the UK. ESOS requires you to Measure your total energy consumption Conduct audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities Report compliance to the Environment Agency.   The Agency is urging organisations to act early to help avoid disruption & enforcement action, also to unlock the financial savings brought by greater energy efficiency.   You may choose to conduct energy audits of your sites or choose an alternative route, such as an ISO 50001 Energy Management System.   Start gathering your data now - you’ll need to show energy consumption for a 12 month period covering 31st December 2018.   I am a Lead ESOS assessor, which need to be involved...
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ESOS – Time Flies!

ESOS – Time Flies!

Time Flies! ESOS – 2 Months and Counting With less than 2 months until the deadline for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, businesses need to get going on this urgently. The date to notify the Environment Agency of your compliance is 5th December 2015. Remember even if you’re not a large company, you may still need to participate in ESOS because of others in your corporate group.   There are 3 stages to ESOS: measure energy consumption, conduct energy audits & report compliance.   As the clock is ticking, you should have by now collated energy & transport data for your reporting period (1 year which includes 31st Dec 14). Data should be in kWh for elec/gas, litres for fuels, maybe miles for business travel – and it needs to be validated. Many companies are finding this a bit of challenge, especially transport.   Then schedule the energy audits as soon as possible, these should cover your significant energy consumption and recommend improvements for saving energy.   Most Lead ESOS...
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ISO 50001 in 12 months

ISO 50001 in 12 months

Get ISO 50001 in time for ESOS So you need ISO 50001 certification in just 12 months? The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) requires large businesses (>250 employees or turnover >€50m turnover) to carry out audits of all their energy usage. One route to compliance is an Energy Management System (EnMS) certified to ISO 50001.  But given the Dec 2015 deadline for reporting ESOS compliance, is it possible to implement an EnMS and get it certified to ISO 50001 in time?   Well for those companies that already have a management system in place, it should be possible. If you have an ISO 9001 Quality or ISO 14001 Environmental Management System then you already have over half of the system requirements.   Are we there yet? ISO 50001 has typical ISO clause requirements, such as policy, roles and responsibilities, planning, communication, documentation, internal audit, and management review.  You will have these in place for your existing system, so modifying this to cover the specific energy issues will...
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