ENERGY SAVINGS OPPORTUNITIES SCHEME
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme requires more than 7,000 large enterprises in the UK to undertake energy audits across their sites incorporating a minimum of 90% of the total energy use of the organisation.
Organisations that meet the following criteria are required to comply:
- Have 250 employees or more; OR
- An annual turnover exceeding €50 million AND an annual balance sheet total exceeding €43 million.
Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out energy efficiency audits every four years.
The Energy Efficiency Audits for Phase 1 were to be completed by 5th December 2015, but this was extended to 29th January 2016 due to the lack of availability of qualified assessors preventing participants from meeting the original deadline. The Environment Agency (EA) has now commenced civil proceedings against a number of organisations that failed to achieve compliance.
Phase 2 audits must be completed by 5th December 2019, however the EA has advised qualifying businesses to start the energy audits and identification of energy savings opportunities now to ensure compliance of the Phase 2 deadline.
There are various routes to ESOS compliance including ESOS Audits, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and ISO 50001. ESOS audit reports must meet a compliance standard and be verified by a certified ESOS assessor. The report provides recommendations on how to improve the efficiency of energy use across the organisation.
Organisations are being actively encouraged to act on the recommendations as many of these are low or no cost with a very short return on investment. Whilst there is no requirement to act on the recommendations, the costs of compliance can often be offset by the reduced energy costs. The organisation will also benefit from demonstrable, improved corporate social responsibility through reduced carbon emissions.
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