Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)
Stewart is an ESOS Lead Assessor
I am guessing that if you are viewing this page you will know about ESOS - or have been informed by Ofgem that you need to comply with ESOS - which is now approaching the kick-off for Phase 3 having been through a consultation and some tweaks from the previous 2 Phases.
In essence ESOS applies to all UK companies / organisations with >250 employees and/or turnover >£43M/year.
If that describes your business – you are eligible - barring a couple of exemptions outlined below.
Phase 2 finished in 2019 although somewhat unbelievably I assisted one firm who should have met the 2019 deadline with their late compliance submission earlier this year - May 2022 for a December 2019 deadline - not sure how they avoided a penalty but let's not complain!
Phase 3 is underway in respect of site audits - at least in those organisations thinking ahead and planning to beat the rush in 2023, achieve early compliance in Q1 and of course benefit from some valuable energy and cost savings which is the whole idea of the exercise - isn't it? Not just box ticking - carbon and £'s saving!!!
There has always been a bunch of hype about ESOS – “panic-mongering” is fairly common. As far as I am concerned there is no requirement to panic unless you are non-compliant and you are the recipient of a Compliance Enforcement Notice which will never be the case for any of my clients.
Even if you are served with an Enforcement Notice you do not need to panic - just contact me and I will guide you through the remedy smoothly and professionally.
I took 19 organisations through Phase 1 and 23 organisations through Phase 2 including 1 within the Irish scheme - EAS - for which I am also fully accredited. Importantly none of my compliance submissions have failed audit or required remedial action.
ESOS requires eligible organisations to undertake 3 key steps to achieve compliance in each phase:
measure their total energy consumption.
conduct audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities.
report compliance to the scheme administrator.
There are pathways to exemption - for example certification to ISO 50001 - but despite my being a qualified 50001 Lead Auditor I am not finding much appetite for this approach at the moment because achieving certification just gets harder and harder – primarily due to the need for "continuous improvement" which can be prohibitively expensive - to say nothing of practically very difficult for many companies.
If you have been through Phases 1 and/or 2 you'll know that you should already be collecting robust energy data which must include Transport energy.
The latest consultation has seen a couple of changes that you should bear in mind:
the de minimis allowance (energy you do not need to audit) is now 5% - a move designed to improve the savings achievable within an organisation - a step forward I believe - well done Ofgem / BEIS
in line with SECR an Intensity Metric must be included (eg kWh/sqm for Buildings, kWh/unit or kWh/£turnover for Process and kWh/miles for Transport - not sure why this wasn't integral from day 1 of ESOS - it certainly is in any reports I provide!
it will be mandatory to have targets for improvement set and stated clearly in the report - again another step forward as far as I can see - if you have nothing to aim for there is certainly less motivation to make changes and so having tangible targets for energy savings makes absolute sense to me.
finally - and maybe most important - there is going to be a standard reporting template issued - presumably to ensure that all the boxes are ticked in the reporting process - I have no problem with templates however I hope this does not make the process easier for the less able, less qualified or lazier assessors - time will tell.
There may also be some changes to the sampling of sites approach for audit - this has yet to be resolved.
If any of this affects your company / organisation and you would like to discuss ESOS with an impartial professional - I am always happy to talk to prospective new clients.
You should know that as a one-man operation my fees are generally regarded as very competitive.