It’s official – the compliance period for phase two of the UK Government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is underway and qualifying organisations are now able to begin the compliance process.
There was some uncertainty as to the future of the scheme. ESOS was one of the policy measures openly under consideration as part of the previous government’s 2015 energy efficiency tax landscape review, as well as being the UK implementation of the European Commission’s 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive.
However, in the aftermath of the recent UK general election the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have jointly advised organisations that they can now start carrying out energy audits as part of the compliance process.
Although there some exemptions for public bodies, the regulations require all qualifying ‘Non-SME’ UK organisations to take three important steps before the compliance date of 5 December 2019:
- measure their total energy consumption;
- conduct audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities;
- report compliance with their national scheme administrator – the Environment Agency in England, SEPA in Scotland, NIEA in Northern Ireland and NRW in Wales.
Alternatively, organisations can comply automatically in certain cases. The main way to do this is by providing evidence that they have achieved certification to ISO 50001, the international standard for best practice energy management.
Organisations that fall within the ESOS regulations can therefore now start conducting audits to identify their cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities for phase two or move forward with implementing ISO 50001. In particular, ISO 50001 requires early action, as it often takes well over a year for organisations to implement a best practice energy management system and achieve certification.
The one element of ESOS compliance that organisations are not yet able to begin is collecting the data for reporting their total energy consumption. The earliest this can begin is the start of 2018, as ESOS compliance requires a 12-month period of total energy consumption data which must include the qualification date of 31 December 2018.
During the first phase of ESOS Epsilon Energy Professionals provided expert tailored support to help many organisations comply with the scheme. It was found that cost-effective measures could cut energy consumption in buildings, transport fleets and industrial processes by about 20 percent. This translated into average annual savings of approximately £360,000, with more being possible in certain industry sectors.
The earlier the opportunities are identified, the sooner energy saving projects can be implemented. So getting moving early on ESOS phase two will help organisations minimise the risk of disruption during the compliance process and get maximum financial value from cost-effective energy efficiency measures.
If you are uncertain whether your organisation falls within the scope of the regulations then please complete our “compliance questionnaire” for a free evaluation.
If you wish to submit a no-obligation enquiry for ESOS support, help with implementing ISO 50001 or transitioning to ISO 14001 please click the button below and complete our simple enquiry form.
Mike Glanfield MIET MCIBSE MSLL MEI Chartered Energy Manager
Epsilon Energy Professionals.
Epsilon Energy Professionals, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London, United Kingdom, EC1V 2NX, United Kingdom. [email protected]