ESOS compliance – am I eligible?
Carbon legislation is becoming increasingly stringent; following on from the mandatory CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment) for the largest organisations, the government has now implemented ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme). The new legislation has been created in order to meet Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which relates to energy audits and energy management.
ESOS is a mandatory scheme for organisations in the UK that employ over 250 staff or have a turnover in excess of €50m. It will affect a wide range of businesses throughout the UK. Whilst there are some people who will feel the scheme is a pointless paper exercise, DECC hopes that organisations will benefit from ESOS by implementing the findings to make cash savings.
What do I need to do?
The good news is that if your organisation is ISO 50001 accredited then you don’t need to carry out an ESOS assessment. If you are not ISO 50001 accredited then you will need to carry out an ESOS assessment that will take into account energy partly covered by ISO 50001, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) or Green Deal Assessments (GDAs). It will include:
- Calculations of energy consumption
- Identifying areas of significant energy consumption
- Appointment of a lead assessor
- Notifying the Environment Agency
- Keeping records
- Conducting audits
- Identifying energy saving opportunities
- Carrying out site visits during an audit
The assessments will need to be carried out by a lead assessor. This can be an internal employee or approved external contractor from the Environment Agency’s register. The Environment Agency is currently implementing an application and approval process for professional bodies; however, it will not be possible for individuals to become approved assessors.
What if I do nothing?
Those who do not comply with the new regulations could face civil sanctions including financial penalties. These may be issued if, for example, an organisation fails to do the required audits or notify compliance.
The deadline for completing your ESOS audit is the 5th December 2015. Worryingly, the Environment Agency reported back in June that just 0.4% of eligible companies had filed reports, meaning 99.6% had yet to file! If you are one of those organisations who have left it to the last minute there may still be time to comply if you act quickly.
Here is our one page guide to ESOS to who is eligible and what you need to do. You might also want to refer to our page 8 steps to ESOS compliance that has further detail about the compliance process.
Our blog ESOS - bureaucracy or genuine opportunity? offers insight and opinion on the new legislation and how it might best be tackled