Are You Ready for ESOS?
By SDMember on June 3, 2015
What Is ESOS?
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a new energy assessment scheme mandatory for large organisations in the UK. An estimated 10,000 UK firms fall into the scope for ESOS, and will be required to complete energy audits by 5th December 2015, and every four years following this.
Do I Qualify?
To qualify, your organisation must either have one of the following:
- at least 250 staff
- a turnover of €50 million AND an annual balance sheet total in excess of €43 million.
In the case of a group, if there is at least one organisation in the UK which meets the qualification conditions, the entire UK operation must take part in ESOS.
What Do I Have to Do?
All qualifying organisations must complete an energy audit, signed off by a board-level director and also a qualified ESOS lead assessor, and notify the Environment Agency. The energy audit will identify where energy is used within your organisation and in what quantities, and also find where and how energy savings could be made. There is no requirement to implement any of these savings, however this is the part of the process where value is really added.
When Should I Act?
While it is not totally clear how many ESOS lead assessors there are the UK, it is estimated at between 200 and 500. With approximately 10,000 organisations needing to comply by December, this amounts to a massive under-supply. Many lead assessors have said that due to workload they will not take on work after the end of June, so companies are going to have to move fast to be compliant.
What does the process look like?
SDL recommends six key stages.
- Map your organisation. Break it down into its fundamental areas or activities (transport, heating and cooling, etc). These will be used to structure your energy assessment.
- Baseline your energy use. This stage is data-heavy and must cover at least 90% of your energy use. The data can come from meter readings, fuel bills etc.
- Audit and analyse. Your audit should include a sample of your sites and assign energy savings opportunities.
- Find your significant opportunities. Use the key areas identified in stage one, the energy consumption data collected in stage two and the areas of potential energy saving recognised in stage three. Your final ESOS report should detail several opportunities, including approximate costs and payback periods.
- Rubber stamp. Your ESOS Report needs to be signed off at board-level and also by a qualified ESOS lead assessor before the Environment Agency is notified via an online system. You may be selected to have your compliance checked.
- Mobilise your organisation for action. While it’s not a requirement of ESOS to implement the energy-saving opportunities found during the process, it’s actually this stage that makes the whole thing worthwhile.
How can SDL help me?
Our team is experienced in conducting energy assessments and identifying energy savings opportunities. We can offer as much or as little support as you need, from providing a review and lead-assessor sign-off to guiding you through the process, conducting your audits and recommending costed opportunities. If you wish to gain even more benefit, we can help you with ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems accreditation, an alternative route to ESOS compliance which focuses much more on implementing changes.
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