ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for organisations in the UK that meet the qualification criteria. The audit is a requirement from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and The Environment Agency is the UK scheme administrator.
The ESOS Regulations 2014 bring into force Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and mandate that all large businesses in the UK undertake comprehensive assessments of energy use and energy efficiency opportunities at least once every four years. The deadline for the first compliance period is 5 December 2015, by which time qualifying businesses will have to carry out their ESOS assessment and notify the Environment Agency. The criteria for inclusion to ESOS is not entirely straightforward, but essentially it applies to any large undertaking that carries out a trade or a business (typically a Company), and any corporate group where at least one member of the UK group meets the ESOS criteria. A large undertaking is one that employs at least 250 people or has an annual turnover in excess of €50 million (£38,937,777) and a balance sheet in excess of €43 million (£33,486,489). Most public sector bodies are excluded, but some, such as many Universities may qualify. Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out ESOS assessments every 4 years. These assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.
To comply with the regulations, a ‘Lead Energy Assessor’ will need to conduct an ESOS Assessment to:
- Measure your total energy consumption for buildings, industrial processes and transport
- Identify areas of significant energy consumption, accounting for at least 90% of your total energy consumption
- Identify cost-effective energy efficiency recommendations for areas of significant energy consumption
- Report compliance to the Environment Agency
- Organisations may not need to undertake the Assessment if they are fully covered by ISO 50001.
The Environment Agency may issue civil sanctions including financial penalties if an organisation does not meet the scheme’s obligations.
For full Guidance please see the links below:
In Custom Solar’s opinion simply complying with the Regulations does not make the most of the opportunities an ESOS audit can identify. An ESOS audit will reveal options to reduce energy use and to cut consumption, emissions and cost accordingly. Investing in Commercial Solar PV is an achievable and lucrative business choice when exploring energy saving measures.