ESOS The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

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ACI Reports Ltd sees increasing interest in the ESOS The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, EPBD Regulations coming into force in 2014 and 2015
Apr 09, 2014 By JD | Category: EPBD

Before 5 December 2015 every large enterprise in the UK will, by law, have to undertake an energy audit, an ESOS audit. This ESOS audit will then have to be repeated every four years. The law itself is the UK bringing into force Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, itself part of the EPBD.

The intention is that every audit will recommend cost-effective measures that will save Organisations energy and money. Saving money on escalating energy bills will make business operations more efficient. The ESOS scheme and Greenhouse Gas Regulations will also contribute to meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Only businesses with more than 250 employees or an annual turnover of more than €50 million will be captured by the ESOS scheme. There may also be exemptions put in place for businesses that can demonstrate that they already have a robust approach to reducing energy use, for example if they have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard, but that will only be confirmed as ESOS is launched fully in 2014.

ESOS energy audits are expected to identify energy cost saving opportunities worth in excess of £31 billion.


Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (‘the Directive’) requires all Member States to introduce a programme of regular energy audits for ‘large enterprises’. This is the ESOS Audit.

Audits must be undertaken by 5 December 2015, and then at least every four years from the date of the previous audit.

The ‘Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme’ (ESOS) is the Government’s proposed approach to implementing this requirement. Under the scheme, approved Assessors such as those trained by ACI Reports will carry out Article 8 compliant ESOS assessments to identify energy saving recommendations.

Importantly, the ESOS Audit will need to be undertaken by a qualified ESOS Assessor, and as at April 2014 the National Occupation Standard (NOS) for training has not been set, neither has the Governing Body; ACI Reports urge Clients to hold back and not rush into ESOS without professional advice, a standard Energy Audit is unlikely to pass the ESOS test.

What is an ESOS assessment?

The Energy Efficiency Directive sets out ‘minimum criteria’ for ‘energy audits’. To meet these criteria, the Government considers that ESOS assessments must provide the following information at a minimum:

A review of the total energy use and energy efficiency of the organisation. This would include the organisation identifying and measuring an energy intensity ratio (e.g. energy use per employee) and, as appropriate, considering the variation in energy use over time within key buildings, key industrial operations, and key transport activities. The review would need to be proportionate and sufficiently representative ‘to permit the drawing of a reliable picture of overall energy performance’ of the organisation;

Clear information on potential savings, which identify and quantify cost-effective energy savings opportunities. These should be, wherever practical, based on life cycle assessment (LCA) instead of simple payback periods (SPP).

In practice, ESOS assessments are intended to recommend cost-effective measures to save organisations energy and money. These might include, for example, advice on updating lighting systems, taking steps to encourage staff to adopt more energy efficient behaviour, or (if cost-effective) replacing elements of a transport fleet.

Organisations within the scheme would need to identify an approved ESOS assessor (either an in-house expert or an external consultant) to conduct the ESOS assessment, gather data on energy usage at an appropriate level of detail, and undertake an ESOS assessment by December 2015, renewing the assessment at least every four years thereafter.

The current Government consultation includes a number of options on compliance reporting of ESOS assessments. A scheme administrator will be established to ensure compliance with the scheme to conduct ESOS assessments, but one has not been appointed yet. Depending on the compliance route chosen, Organisations may need to notify the scheme administrator that they have conducted an energy audit, and potentially disclose any key action taken in their annual reports.

The Government is developing a route to accredit/qualify individuals as fit to carry out ESOS assessments. This is where ACI Reports Ltd ESOS Qualified Assessors will come in, who are completely independent and not tied to an organisation selling products.

ACI Reports are currently awaiting the outcome of the ESOS consultation which will be published in Spring 2014; training ESOS Assessors will commence as soon as possible.

Beware of Organisations claiming to offer ESOS Assessments.

It has become apparent that some companies in the market place are advertising that they have the accreditations required to comply with ESOS and are able to provide energy efficiency audits that meet ESOS requirements, however this is seriously misleading information and fundamentally inaccurate.

The initiative has only recently been triggered. The Government intends to bring forward secondary legislation in spring 2014 setting out the legal framework for the operation of the scheme, so that the UK can meet the 5 June 2014 EU deadline for transposition of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

Therefore, at this moment in time, there can be no guarantee of an energy efficiency audit fulfilling ESOS requirements or meeting ESOS guidelines. There is also no confirmation of exactly what organisations fall within the requirement or any exemptions.

Although a company may be able to provide an energy audit, details of ESOS are not complete and it would therefore be wrong to claim any sort of accreditation to the scheme.

ESOS Preparation

It would be sensible for organisations that anticipate being effected by ESOS to speak with us now in preparation, as time will be short when ESOS commences in mid 2014.

ESOS gears up for Assessor Accreditation, ACI Reports advises Clients, read more>


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