In order to implement Article 8 (4-6) of the European Union's Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU), the UK government established ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) with the aim to cut carbon emissions by requiring large businesses to identify energy reduction measures and make energy savings. This scheme affects thousands of UK organisations. 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.
Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out ESOS assessments every four years. These assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.
Is my company affected?
As long as your business has over 250 employees or an annual turnover in excess of €50 million (£38,937,777), and a total annual balance sheet in excess of €43 million (£33,486,489) (as of December 2014), then ESOS applies to you. This means you will need to submit your report by December 5, 2015 with the only exception being if your organisation is already ISO 50001 compliant. However, you will still need to notify the Environment Agency that you are already compliant.
Do I need to do anything?
If your company is one of the thousands affected by the shceme, then once every four years you must undertake an energy audit conducted or overseen by an approved ESOS Lead Assessor. Audits will include an estimate of total energy consumption, covering buildings, industrial processes, and transport, and identify energy saving opportunities. The audit must be signed off by a board-level director before being submitted to the Environment Agency. The first deadline will be December 5, 2015.
What is involved in an energy audit?
If you qualify for ESOS and your organisation is fully covered by ISO 50001, you don’t need to carry out an ESOS assessment. You will however need to notify the Environment Agency that you are compliant with ESOS. The assessment also takes into account energy directly covered by Display Energy Certificates (DECs), Green Deal Assessments (GDAs), or ISO 50001.
For your assessment, you will need to:
1. 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. To find out how to calculate your total energy consumption read the full ESOS guidance.
2. 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.
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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
You must do this by December 5, 2015, and if applicable, every four years afterwards.
5. 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.
How do I submit my notification of compliance?
When you have completed your ESOS submission you must submit a notification of compliance which includes details about your organisation and how it has complied. You do not need to provide energy data.
Ensure that your submission is as accurate as possible. If the information you submitted is inaccurate, email firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the original submission date, the Companies House registration number (if applicable) and the name of the organisation for which you made the notification.
What if I'm not compliant by the deadline?
You must inform the Environment Agency by December 5, 2015 if you cannot submit a notification of compliance. Using a form, explain why you’ll miss the compliance deadline and when you expect to be able to comply.
Qualifying organisations that do not complete and notify a compliance assessment by the set deadline will be in breach of the regulations and at risk of enforcement action and penalties. Enforcement action will not normally be taken provided your notification is received by January 29, 2016. For organisations committing to achieving compliance through ISO 50001 certification, enforcement action will not normally be taken as long as notification is received by June 30, 2016.
How can Rainbow help me?
A large percentage of your company’s usage is likely to be through heat generation and this is where biomass and even possibly district heating as well as biomass CHP systems can help significantly. We have worked with various companies to help them improve their energy efficiency as well as reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs through biomass heating. If you would like to know how we could help ensure your energy consumption and carbon footprint can be improved, do just contact us and we'll be more than happy to help.