The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme is here. Find out how it’ll affect your business energy strategy, and what it could do for your bills.
ESOS is the UK's response to Article 8 of the European Energy Efficiency Directive. The new legislation, announced on 26 June 2014, requires all 'Large Enterprises', with an annual turnover in excess of €50 million, to carry out mandatory energy efficiency audits of their undertakings before 5 December 2015.
Routes to compliance
To achieve ESOS compliance, audits must measure energy consumption and identify cost-effective energy savings opportunities across buildings, industry processes and transport. The legislation will affect more than 7,000 organisations, including public and private companies, trusts and some not-for-profit sectors. Audits will need to be repeated every four years.
The government has announced a number of routes to compliance, including new ESOS compliant energy audits, ISO 50001 certification, Green Deal Assessments and Display Energy Certificates (DECs). Where organisations are fully covered by ISO 50001, there is no necessity to perform additional audits, but where they are not, additional measures will be required.
While audit work can be carried out by suitably qualified individuals, an organisation's overall compliance with ESOS must be verified by an accredited lead auditor - listed on an Environment Agency approved register.
Potential savings from ESOS
The government estimates that ESOS will help organisations reduce business energy costs by at least £250m by 2016, and a total of £1.6 billion by 2030. The Carbon Trust, however, believes that potential savings could be two to three times higher.
According to Chris Doubleday of CMR Consultants, ENER-G’s recommended consultancy: "Carefully considered, ESOS represents an excellent opportunity for organisations to stimulate a step change improvement in energy efficiency, laying the foundations for a more resilient and sustainable future."
How will ESOS influence CHP investment decisions?
The energy audit required to comply with ESOS will in many cases identify opportunities to achieve cost reduction through the implementation of CHP and other demand side energy reduction measures. The savings from the CHP can be used to retrospectively cover the cost of the ESOS audit and deliver further savings to cover other energy efficiency projects. So don't see ESOS as a burden, see it as a catalyst for a step change in your approach to energy conservation.