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ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) audits; What Next in 2020?

ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) is a mandatory energy assessment scheme, commissioned by The Environment Agency, for organisations in the UK that meet the qualification criteria.

Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out ESOS assessments every 4 years (December 2015 & December 2019 so far). These assessments are audits of the energy used by an organisation's buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.

And that's the key here; "identify cost-effective energy saving measures".

Whilst it is an audit, simply complying with the regulations misses the point of ESOS; to identify opportunities to reduce energy use and to cut consumption, emissions and the associated costs. And although there is no statutory requirement to take action on the recommendations (or, "opportunities"), not to do so is to reduce ESOS to a costly compliance and paper exercise rather than a means to achieve real savings.

ESOS assessments

Preparation and recording shouldn't be, "every four years then file it away". Processes and compliance are easier to record and implement by following our guide;

Calculate Energy Consumption

This is the total energy used by assets held by the organisation or activities carried out by the organisation or group. This includes the energy consumed by buildings, industrial processes and transport. To find out how to calculate your total energy consumption read the ESOS guidance from The Government.

Identify the Areas of Significant Energy Consumption

This is the energy used by assets held, or activities carried out, by the organisation that account for at least 90% of your total energy consumption. You then need to:

a.) find out whether ISO 50001, DECs or GDAs cover any of your areas of significant energy consumption

b.) identify whether ESOS compliant energy audits have been, or need to be, carried out for the areas of significant energy consumption not covered by ISO 50001, DECs or GDAs.

As long as 90% of your total energy consumption is covered, you can use a mix of approaches with some of your energy consumption covered by ISO 50001; some by DECS or GDAs and some by ESOS energy audits.

Appoint an Assessor

You need to appoint a lead assessor to carry out and oversee or review your energy audits and overall ESOS assessment/ compliance.

Notify the Environment Agency

You need to submit your ESOS notification of compliance to the Environment Agency when you have undertaken an ESOS assessment and are compliant with your obligations.

Evidence Pack

You need to keep records of how you have complied with ESOS in an evidence pack.

Implementation of ESOS Recommendations

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and the Environment Agency estimated that if every participating business, covered by ESOS, reduced their Energy Consumption (which can certainly be achieved in a cost-effective manner) by an average of just 0.7% then they will collectively reduce their Energy bills by over £250 million. The savings could be even greater for certain businesses of course.

Implementation can take many forms, (and is ESOS report/ business specific) but can include installing LED lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) controls and measures, CHP (Combined Heat and Power), Heat Recovery Systems, Electric Fleets and Energy Bill Consolidating. It simply depends on the individual nature of the organisation. The ESOS scheme is also an opportunity for businesses to lessen usage through efficiencies and changes in working practices, specifically cost-effective energy saving measures.

The case for following through on the suggestions is clearly mapped out in the significant savings available. But how many organisations do follow through on the recommendations? This is a chance, after all, for organisations to drive change that can have strong long-term corporate and community benefits as well as creating marketing opportunities around corporate social responsibility. Businesses should certainly consider following through on the recommendations. It may seem like the scheme is simply a Governmental paper exercise but we've found that many of the recommendations provide great opportunities for businesses to save both Energy and money.

Go beyond compliance. Implement energy efficiency and cut costs now to take advantage of the real opportunities in ESOS. Doing so in a cost-effective and efficient manner can turn energy-saving opportunities into real corporate advantage. Chat to us today to find out how.

"ESOS was implemented to make UK businesses more sustainable by identifying and reducing carbon-based fuel usage across buildings, processes and transport. The ESOS scheme is an opportunity for businesses to lessen usage through efficiencies and changes in working practices, specifically cost-effective energy saving measures."