IES Director, David McEwan explains why you need to be…

There are still many companies that don’t have sustainability or energy management as a priority on their agendas. With new government regulations such as ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) emerging, they may find themselves scrambling to keep up and get on board fast.

ESOS has been introduced to help the UK meet its requirements under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and is expected to affect more than 9,000 of the largest companies in the UK. The scheme requires these companies to undertake mandatory assessments looking at energy use and energy efficiency opportunities at least once every four years.

ESOS compliant energy audits must determine total energy consumption (using verifiable energy data) over a consecutive 12-month period known as the reference period. What many miss in the detail, is that the reference period must overlap with the qualification date and end before 5th December 2015. This means that 5th December this year is the absolute latest date you can start to monitor your energy consumption. If you have nothing in place, you’ll need to get started!

Businesses that meet the following criteria on the qualification date of the 31st December 2014 must comply with ESOS:
- 250+ employees
- or have more than a €50m turnover and an annual balance sheet of €43m
- or are part of a wider group that meets this criteria

To comply businesses must:

Audit energy use (90% of your use):
– Buildings (Per building)
– Transport (Per fleet per vehicle)
– Industrial (Per usage)

• Identify energy efficiency measures & energy management opportunities
• Evaluate opportunities using Life Cycle Cost Analysis
• Appoint a ‘Lead Energy Assessor’ to oversee the ESOS Assessment (who must be member of an approved professional body register)
• Store data and inform Scheme administrator (Environment Agency for England)
– Produce report for EA
– Produce report for Company Directors

For many companies this may seem quite daunting, however there is expert help available. Many organisations such as IES and the EMA (Energy Management Association have been liaising with the EA (Environment Agency) to set up ESOS Lead Assessor Registers and develop software that meets the EA’s compliance criteria. IES has created a web-based auditing tool that will help UK organisations, energy auditing companies and assessment authorities carry out ESOS audits –

ESOS Auditor will collate the energy consumption data of all usage types: Buildings, Industrial Processes and Transport and will integrate it with verifiable data from meters, deliveries, Display Energy Certification, Green Deal Assessments, and ISO 50001 Assessments etc.

Don’t just identify energy savings, implement them!

ESOS is actually a big opportunity to implement significant energy and cost saving strategies. It is a chance to place the case for saving energy high on corporate agendas. Implementation of the identified energy saving strategies is a voluntary step in the ESOS scheme, however in order to get the most out of ESOS it’s important that businesses take this step. It would seem pointless not to. By building on the best practice that a business must implement to monitor its energy consumption and going beyond the minimum requirements to implement savings, smart organisations will make significant cost savings on their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions.

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