Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)

Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a new regulation which will require all large UK enterprises to have an organisational energy audit every four years. The legislation came into force on 17th July 2014.

Who will be affected?

The new regulations will cover all large enterprises including charities but not public bodies. The regulations exclude small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are defined as enterprises that employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million.

Most organisations are expected to carry out ESOS Energy Audits to meet the scheme requirements, but the government has also outlined certain alternative routes to compliance. These include ISO 50001-certified Energy Management Systems, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Green Deal Assessments. In selected cases these alternatives do present a cost-effective approach; it’s certainly worth spending some time considering the choices.

What does the scheme include?

All energy use that is directly paid for or generated by an organisation will be included in the audit. This covers industrial processes, building energy use, and transport including some business travel. However, once the total energy footprint has been calculated, up to 10% of energy consumption can be excluded from the audit process so that the audits focus only on significant areas of energy use.

If an organisation pays for energy on behalf of its clients, these energy costs will be included in the assessment. ESOS will also cover energy already reported under other schemes such as CRC, EU ETS or CCA. However, data gathered from these schemes can be used to help report under ESOS.

What are the benefits?

Each assessment will be accompanied by a list of tailored energy reduction recommendations. An enterprise can choose whether or not to implement the recommendations, but doing so will create savings from the audit. Implementing ESOS recommendations will also reduce liability under CRC or ETS as well as reducing operating costs.