Making the most of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)
24/06/2014« Back


The official guidance for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is due to be published very shortly, will it be the game changer many expect or just another legislative failure to tick European Green Boxes. 

ESOS is the UK’s ‘transposition’ of Article 8 of the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive. It is a mandatory energy assessment and ‘energy saving identification’ scheme for large organisations, meaning Non-SMEs will have to carry out regular audits of their energy usage. The Public Sector is excluded from the requirements, although some Universities may find themselves involved depending upon funding approach. 

Of course, for many organisations, the measurement and management of energy is a long-standing feature of their operational activities. Yet, the lack of take-up in some of the largest businesses has prompted the European Union to take action in this area. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is now reaching its final stage and will be published shortly if it has not already appeared by the time you read this article.

In terms of auditing, (unless an organisation has implemented an energy or environmental management system to the standards of ISO 50001/14001 or equivalent), energy is typically considered as a non-core activity and whilst it is possible that it may be under the responsibility of a specific person, auditing is unlikely to take place. 

ESOS audits have to be completed under Phase 1 of the scheme by the end of 2015 and they must be based on full 12-months figures of at least 90% of consumption, including the energy used in buildings, for transport and in industrial processes. In reality this means that organisations (that are captured by the requirement) don't have long to act to ensure the accounting period is in place. 

Organisations would qualify if they have a turnover in excess of £42million and employ more than 250 staff in the UK.  

Who carries out the Audits?

Guidance is stating that audits must be undertaken by 'lead auditors' that belong to an accredited organisation registered with the Environment Agency, a similar structure to the approval of Energy Assessors with Accreditation schemes. It is expected that schemes from the likes of CIBSE, BRE, ESTA, EI, etc. would be applying for inclusion on the Environment Agency list. 

If your business is already in some form of auditing scheme (such as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme or the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme), the monitoring and auditing procedures associated with these will be accepted for compliance with ESOS. However it is unlikely that any of these schemes will cover the full range of activities covered by this latest scheme (such as transport energy for example). So it is likely that some additional auditing, as well as collating of data streams, will be necessary.

Early guidance does however suggest that where an organisation has implemented a certified Energy Management System to ISO50001 the energy accounted for in the EMS would be exempt from ESOS requirements, likewise with the use of Display Energy Certificates. 

Where could digitalenergy assist?

The digitalenergy platform has been designed to collate information in an accurate, transparent and accessible manner (perfect for ESOS), whichever route to compliance is chosen.

If an alternative route for exemption is the approach taken, then digitalenergy can be used to implement ISO50001 (as with DECC and Keele University) and to produce approved Display Energy Certificates. 

At digitalenergy we have specialised in compliance solutions for over 10 years, if you would be interested in exploring how our experience could provide your organisation the most cost effective route to compliance, please contact us to arrange a discussion using the form below;

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Tel: 02476 611738

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Lloyd Street North
M15 6SE

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