Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme – Practical action for large businesses

23 October 2014

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The 2 routes to compliance and how to carry them out.

Earlier this year a new law was made called The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014. Known as ESOS, this regulation requires large organisations or ‘enterprises’ in the UK to carry out an energy audit of their activities, with the aim of identifying cost saving opportunities through reducing energy consumption.

So who and what is involved?

This applies to any ‘large enterprise’ in the UK which meet the following criteria:

  • has 250 or more employees in the UK; or
  • has fewer than 250 employees but has an annual turnover exceeding €50m and a balance sheet exceeding €43m.
  • Smaller organisations may still be obligated if they are part of a Corporate Group which includes an undertaking in the UK that meets criteria above

Organisations that are required to comply with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 are exempt from this scheme.

The organisation has to meet the eligibility criteria on the 31st December 2014 to be obligated, and then has until the 5th December 2015 in which to report to the regulator that they have had an ESOS assessment, or are exempt. This must then be repeated every 4 years.

There are 2 routes to compliance.  

  1. If your organisation is fully covered by the energy management standard ISO50001, then you won’t need to carry out a separate ESOS assessment.  You’ll just need to notify the Environment Agency at the appropriate time.
  2. If your organisation does not have, or is not fully covered by ISO50001, then you’ll need to undertake an ESOS assessment.

Carrying out an ESOS assessment.

Energy Deal

This may include data from Display Energy Certificates or Green Deal assessments that you may already have, or you may need to carry out energy audits which are verified by an approved assessor.

You need to appoint a lead assessor to either carry out, oversee or review your audits and ESOS assessment. This can be an employee or external contractor as long as they’re a member of an approved professional body register.

The types of energy you need to include from your organisation or group are those used from buildings, industrial processes and transport that represent at least 90% of your total energy consumption.

The energy audits must meet certain criteria to be deemed compliant for ESOS assessment. There must be at least 12 months continuous data from no earlier than 6th December 2010 for the first compliance period, begin no more than 24 months before the start of the energy audit, and not have been used as the basis for an energy audit in a previous compliance period.

Audits must profile the organisation’s energy consumption and identify opportunities for energy savings, but there’s no legal obligation to implement these opportunities. The idea is that if you’ve had to invest in complying, then it will be in the organisation’s interest to take advantage of any energy saving opportunities highlighted, and get some or all of this money back.


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