ESOS – don’t get caught out!

Even charities may need to comply

You may have heard of ESOS, or you may have even received a letter from the Environment Agency to advise you must comply. Liz Ainslie discusses what ESOS is and what the implications are.

_DSC2105ESOS is the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme. It is legislation to try and reduce the amount of energy used in the UK and across Europe. All ‘large organisations’┬ámust comply with the scheme.

I recently went on a course to find out more about what companies will need to do for ESOS, and the role of the Lead Assessor in the process. From additional information gathered at that course, and the inherent questions which always come up, I’ve put together a simple, helpful checklist of what you need to know about ESOS.

Everything you NEED to know about ESOS, but were afraid to ask

You must comply with ESOS if your organisation:

  • has 250 or more employees in the UK, or
  • has a turnover of more than 50 million annually (with a 43 million balance sheet)

If you are a charity, are part of a conglomerate, or are small but own other businesses, you may still need to take part. There are guidelines for understanding if you will need to take part – contact us and we can advise you.

If you must comply, here’s what you need to do:

  • track all of your energy for 12 months. This can go back to December, 2011 and must include your buildings, fleet vehicles, and industrial processes
  • appoint a Lead Assessor. The Lead Assessor is a qualified energy assessor who can help you determine the best way to go about the process
  • see if you have other audits and assessments which could count towards your ESOS. This can be Display Energy Certificates or Green Deal Assessments
  • see what kind of tracking you already do – you may look at your energy use already for CRC compliance or other schemes
  • keep an Evidence Pack of all your information. If the Environment Agency ever asks to audit you, then you will need to show how you arrived at your findings
  • submit your report to the Environment Agency by 5 December, 2015 or face a fine. You can submit earlier – it’s best to do it sooner rather than later!

It’s also a good idea to get the Lead Assessor in as soon as possible. Your Lead Assessor can help you with many aspects, including:

  • helping you to put a plan into place as to what you need to do
  • help you gather the data
  • audit your data
  • help you to make any calculations or assumptions
  • write your report with energy saving recommendations
  • will not only sign off your final report for the Environment Agency.

There are not a huge number of Lead Assessors who are available, so it is good to appoint someone as soon as possible. That way you can decide how involved you want them to be, or how you can do the majority of the work and simply have them do the audits and reporting.

You will need to submit a report every four years after December. Once you have completed your first ESOS reporting it will be much easier to keep track of for the next time. You may also find that your energy monitoring is helping you to save energy and money throughout the entire time frame.

If you don’t want to have to do this every four years, we would recommend you are certified for ISO 50001, the Energy Management Standard. This will also fulfil your ESOS obligation and will continually give you an assessment of where you are and how you can save energy. If you have other ISO certifications then attaining the 50001 standard shouldn’t be difficult.

If you have any questions, need help finding a Lead Assessor, or are thinking about ISO 50001 for future, contact us here at Hosking Associates and find out how we can help you and your organisation.