Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)
What is it?
The UK Government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) will address the requirements of Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive which, in order to promote energy efficiency, requires all Member States to introduce a system of energy audits for large enterprises.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced the detail of the ESOS. The Environment Agency's latest guidance for potential scheme participants can be found here
Will my organization be affected?
Yes, if on the 31 December 2014 your organization:
- Had 250 or more employees in the UK.
- Had fewer than 250 employees, but has an annual turnover exceeding €50m (£38,937,777*) and a balance sheet exceeding €43m (£33,486,489*).
Those organizations that are not included are still encouraged to undertake energy audits as they may help to cut costs and boost efficiency.
When will it come into play?
The first compliance deadline was 5 December 2015 although the Environment Agency have provided some relaxation of the submission deadline. Organisations need to contact the Agency directly if they are late with complying. For future years there will be a compliance cycle every 4 years (i.e. 2019, 20123, 2017) .
What is an ESOS audit?
An assessment of an organization’s energy management, in terms of usage and energy efficiency over time.
An audit would be carried out (or verified) by an approved ESOS assessor (either an internal auditor or an external verification body) who would gather data, check its veracity, identify energy usage and potential savings over time.
Use your energy management system to comply and avoid ESOS audits
The good news is that on 26th June DECC confirmed that companies with a certified ISO 50001 Energy Management system will have no further compliance requirements under the ESOS. The route to compliance will be merely to inform the scheme administrator (The Environment Agency) that a valid certified ISO 50001 certificate is in place.
The Environment Agency, the scheme administrators explain on their ESOS webpage “If you qualify for ESOS and your organization is fully covered by ISO 50001 you don’t need to carry out an ESOS assessment. You just need to notify the Environment Agency that this is the case and you are compliant with ESOS.”
Shaun Bainbridge, a director at Lucideon commented “This is fantastic news for our existing ISO 50001 certified clients and those undergoing certification at the moment. There are many benefits from a certified ISO 50001 system but the ESOS compliance is a very quick win.”
Lucideon has been providing ISO 50001 certification to many organizations since the standard was launched in 2011 and has services available for companies and organizations at all stages of their ISO 50001 journey and is UKAS-accredited to certify all levels of organization from corporates to complex industrial operations, for single sites to multi-site operations.
For many organizations, especially those with existing management systems (e.g. ISO14001), the implementation and certification of an ISO 50001 system is comfortably achievable within 12 months. For those organizations who are unsure whether the ISO 50001 route is right for them, the best first step is a "Gap Analysis" to assess the current status and evaluate the effort needed.
Read more about ISO 50001 and energy management on our Energy Management Systems (ISO 50001) page
*These figures have now been fixed by the Environment Agency based on the prevailing exchange rate.