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Organisations in the UK can now save money and energy by complying with the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). This is a compulsory scheme enforced by central Government, which requires regular energy audits to be carried out, to highlight energy savings for large organisations. The aim is to reduce EU energy consumption by 20% by 2020. It is estimated that approximately £1.7bn of net benefits could be made across the UK in this way.

What is ESOS?

Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out these detailed assessments every four years, or face financial penalties. The assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport, in order to identify cost-effective, energy saving measures.

The benefit of an ESOS assessment to your organisation is that it will help you to reduce costs and improve CSR, as well as ensuring compliance. Cost reduction can be achieved since the assessment will highlight ways to save money on energy and fuel bills, by reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Early estimates indicate that audits will lead to an average of 0.7% energy saving per organization with the net positive benefit to the UK of ESOS predicted to be from £0.8 – £3bn between 2015 and 2030. It can give you a better understanding of how your company consumes energy and potential savings can be significantly greater than the cost of the assessment. Finally, ESOS can help you work towards carbon reduction commitment (CRC) regulations.

Do You Have to Comply?

Compliance with the scheme mainly affects businesses; it can also apply to not-for-profit bodies and any other non public sector undertakings that are large enough to meet the qualification criteria.

Your organisation qualifies if, on 31 December 2014, it meets the ESOS definition of a ‘large undertaking’. Corporate groups qualify if at least one UK group member meets the same ESOS definition. A large undertaking is defined as any company that either employs 250 or more people, or has an annual turnover in excess of €50 million (£38,937,777) and an annual balance sheet total in excess of €43 million euro (£33,486,489). It also includes any overseas company with a UK registered establishment with 250 or more UK employees.

How Can You Comply?

For your assessment, you need to follow the following five stage process:

1. Calculate your total energy consumption – this is the energy used by your organisation and includes the energy used by buildings, industrial processes and transport.

2. Identify your areas of major energy consumption – this is the energy used by your organisation that accounts for at least 90% of your total energy consumption. You then need to find out whether ISO 50001 or DECs (Display Energy Certificates) cover any of your main areas of energy consumption, before identifying whether ESOS energy audits have been, or need to be, carried out for other areas of energy consumption not covered by ISO 50001, DECs or GDAs. As long as 90% of your total energy consumption is covered, you can use a mix of these approaches.

3. Appoint a lead assessor – to carry out your ESOS assessment and help you understand how to complete steps one and two. Lead assessors must be members of an approved professional body register.

4. Notify the Environment Agency – you need to submit your ESOS notification of compliance to the Environment Agency when you have undertaken an assessment and are compliant. You must do this by 5 December 2015, and if applicable, every 4 years afterwards.

5. Keep records – finally you must keep records of how you have complied with ESOS in an evidence pack.

Completing an ESOS assessment can be time consuming and getting it wrong, or not being able to comply, could cost your company in penalties.

The Deadline is Approaching

By 5 December 2015 qualifying organisations must carry out their ESOS assessment and notify the Environment Agency. You must then carry out an ESOS assessment in each subsequent 4-year compliance period, ending on 5 December 2019, 2023 and so on.

Synergy Building Services Solutions are the licensed assessors for the John Lewis Partnership and we are helping many other organisations to comply and avoid the financial penalty of not doing so. Don’t leave your assessment until the last minute! You might find it difficult to find an assessor who can complete the work on time.

Book your assessment to be carried out by us by 31 August 2015 and we’ll automatically give you a 20% discount on the fee. Arrange to have the assessment completed by 31 October 2015 and we’ll give you a 10% discount. After that, we might just be too busy to help!

To find out more and book your assessment, call Steve Little on 01344 874 446 or click here to email him.