The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) was set up by the UK government to ensure large private sector organisations play their part in meeting energy reduction targets and the requirements of EU directives.
Qualifying organisations must prove they’ve assessed their energy use and identified energy-saving improvements, and the compliance submission must be signed off by a qualified Lead Assessor and at least one director of the company.*
Since ESOS is mandatory for qualifying organisations and can’t be avoided, it makes sense to choose an assessment service that adds real value to the process.
Gathering the evidence
Before we can carry out your ESOS audit and analysis, we need to establish the general pattern of energy use in your business. Some areas of consumption are too small to offer insights or savings, so 10% of your energy use is disregarded and the process concentrates on the 90% that the Environment Agency calls your ‘significant energy use’.
This is also a good time to look at your records, to check for recent information or reports that may help to meet ESOS requirements – helping you to be smart about collecting your evidence.
We’ll then carry out a comprehensive audit of your business energy use, including data from buildings, transport, and manufacturing or services. Similar buildings and activities can be grouped together, so that a sample can be selected for site visits.
A key feature of ESOS is the capital costs of recommended measures, and the savings that can be expected. As well as collecting information from known sources, we’ll be looking for gaps in your energy intelligence, where extra monitoring or controls could help you make savings. Our energy surveys are carried out to British and International standards (BS EN 16247 and ISO50002).
Analysing your data
Once we’ve gathered data from throughout your business, our experts get down to the serious business of analysis.
We won’t conduct unnecessary reports or duplicate investigations, or expand the task beyond the genuine needs of your business. You can rely on our auditors and assessors to follow best practice and provide the optimal return on your investment.
Once all the auditing, surveying and assessment is complete, we’ll prepare all the calculations, paperwork and recommendations and compile your mandatory Evidence Pack.
Bureaucracy or burden?
It’s easy for businesses to view ESOS as a burden or even a threat. After all, who needs the distraction of conducting detailed investigations and preparing statutory reports when you have a large enterprise to run?
But what may look like a bureaucratic set piece is a significant opportunity to make energy efficiencies and cost savings. Even if you already have an energy savings plan, our experts may highlight savings that internal audits have overlooked.
At SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions, we believe ESOS is a worthwhile process that can add value throughout your organisation, and the key to success is a competent expert partner to guide you through it.
Managing ESOS risks
There’s a final red flag that all managers and directors of large private sector businesses should be aware of.
Since the rules are clear, the scheme is mandatory, and ESOS only applies to substantial businesses, you might expect the compliance rate to be close to 100%.
But plenty of UK businesses got Phase 1 wrong. This included outright failure to comply, and substantial numbers who mistakenly believed they did not qualify.
The Environment Agency’s own figures show 91% compliance, but closer scrutiny reveals that 75% of audited submissions needed remedial action and only 16% got it right first time.
Those figures should be a concern for any business treating ESOS as just another process to get through. It should be possible to hire any available Lead Assessor and be confident of a successful outcome. The evidence so far suggests that a more proactive approach may be needed.
Given how much is at stake – substantial fines for directors included – the selection of ESOS Lead Assessors for Phase 2 is a risk management issue that needs to be taken seriously.
Talk to our team of ESOS experts today and we’ll guide you through the process.
*If you have an ISO 50001 energy management system that covers all your energy use, this counts as your ESOS assess