Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) was established by the UK Goverment to implement Article 8 (4 to 6) of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU). The ESOS Regulations 2014 give effect to the scheme.

ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for organisations in the UK that meet the qualification criteria. The Environment Agency is the UK scheme administrator.  Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out an ESOS assessment 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 they can implement to reduce their energy demand.  The entire audit process must be supervised by an accredited ESOS Lead Assessor.

Organisations must notify the Environment Agency by a set deadline that they have complied with their ESOS obligations. The deadline for the first compliance period, 5 December 2015, has now passed for organisations that qualified on 31 December 2014.  However, organisations need to start planning now to meet their obligations for the next audit due in 2019 for organisations meeting the qualifying criteria on 31 December 2018.

Whether you have missed your first deadline or you are ready to begin preparing for the next, our lead assessors can guide you through the entire process.  They will discuss your business with you to gain an in depth understanding of your operations before helping you plan your audit process.  You will need to decide the information you are going to collect and how you intend to meet the requirements.  Our team will offer advice and support to allow the entire process to be completed as efficiently as possible.  After all, it's all about saving energy and we don't want you working harder than you have got to.

FAQ: Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)

For your assessment you will need to:

Appoint a lead assessor

You need to appoint a Lead Assessor to carry out and oversee or review your energy audits and overall ESOS assessment.  Lead Assessors can be employees or external contractors as long as they are members of an approved professional body register.

Calculate your total energy consumption

This is the energy used by assets held or activities carried out by your organisation or group. This includes the energy consumed by buildings, industrial processes and transport.

Identify your areas of significant energy consumption

This is the energy used by assets held, or activities carried out, by your organisation that account for at least 90% of your total energy consumption. Once you have completed this you need to:

  • Find out whether ISO 50001, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) or Green Deal Assessments (GDAs) cover any of your areas of significant energy consumption.
  • Identify whether ESOS compliant energy audits have been, or need to be, carried out for the areas of significant 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 approaches with some of your energy consumption covered by ISO 50001; some by DECs or GDAs and some by ESOS energy audits.  You will need to discuss your approach with your Lead Assessor.

Notify the Environment Agency

You need to submit your ESOS notification of compliance to the Environment Agency when you have undertaken an ESOS assessment and are compliant with your obligations.

The notification deadline was 5 December 2015 for the first cycle and every 4 years afterwards.  If you miss a deadline then your must notify the Environment Agency and submit your notification as soon as possible.

Keep records

You need to keep records of how you have complied with ESOS in an evidence pack. There is no set format for this but your Lead Assessor will be able to help you compile this.

If you qualify for ESOS and your organisation is fully covered by an ISO 50001 accreditation, you don’t need to carry out an ESOS assessment.  You will already have looked at your environmental impact and how you can reduce your energy demand as part of the accreditation process. However, you will still need to notify the Environment Agency that you are compliant with ESOS.

If you qualify for ESOS, but your organisation is not fully covered by an ISO 50001 accreditation, you need to carry out an ESOS assessment. The assessment helps you work out what your organisation needs to do to comply with the ESOS regulations.

ESOS applies to large UK undertakings and their corporate groups. It mainly affects businesses but can also apply to not-for-profit bodies and any other non public sector undertakings that are large enough to meet the qualification criteria.

A large undertaking is:

  1. any UK company that either:
    1. employs 250 or more people, or
    2. has an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro (£38,937,777), and an annual balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro (£33,486,489).
  2. an overseas company with a UK registered establishment which has 250 or more UK employees (paying income tax in the UK)

You must take part in ESOS if your undertaking is part of a corporate group which includes another UK undertaking or UK establishment which meets these criteria.  Where a corporate group participates in ESOS, unless otherwise agreed, the highest UK parent will act as a ‘responsible undertaking’ and be responsible for ensuring the group as a whole complies.  UK registered establishments of an overseas company will also need to take part in ESOS (regardless of their size) if any other part of their global corporate group activities in the UK meet the ESOS qualifying criteria.

Your organisation qualifies for the first compliance period if, on 31 December 2014, it met the ESOS definition of a large undertaking. Corporate groups qualify if at least one UK group member meets the ESOS definition of a large undertaking.

If you are very close to the qualification threshold or have substantially increased or decreased in size in recent years you should read the full guidance to confirm if you qualify.  Public sector organisations do not usually need to comply with ESOS. For more information on organisations that do not need to comply see section 1.2 of the full ESOS guidance.  Alternatively please feel free to contact us for a no obligation discussion with one of our ESOS Lead Assessors.



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