• Not done ESOS yet? Large companies should act now. Here’s how:

    Posted by axion on January 28th, 2016

    So, the deadline for the first compliance period of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) has passed. It was 5th December 2015. This article describes what to do next for those that have, and those that have not.

    If you are a ‘large’ company then you should be familiar with this mandatory energy assessment scheme, but if you need to you can check the ESOS criteria on our website to see whether or not it applies to you.

    You need to have either submitted your notice of compliance OR do so in the coming week OR submit an ‘intent to comply’ notification, explaining why you are late and when you expect to comply.


    Submit your ESOS Notice of Compliance

    If you are compliant but have missed the deadline then you can still submit your notice of compliance – just do this as soon as possible. It is done online.

    The Notice of Compliance informs the Environment Agency that you have met your obligations under ESOS. Whilst there is a threat of ‘enforcement action’ and penalties, the Environment Agency have said that they will likely not take such action against companies that submit by 29th January 2016. So you don’t have long.

    If you intend to comply by having ISO 50001 certification, then the extension period is longer. You have until 30 June 2016 to submit your notification.


    If you can’t do this then submit an Intent to Comply Notification

    The Intent to Comply Notification does what it says on the tin. It specifies when you expect to comply so that the Environment Agency know that it is in progress. This is preferable to doing nothing.

    If you don’t qualify

    If you have started the ESOS process or been in touch with the Environment Agency and found out that you don’t qualify, then you need to submit an online form stating that you don’t qualify. That is the end of the process unless the Environment Agency request proof that you don’t qualify.

    If you haven’t started

    If you qualify but have not started ESOS then you should audit the energy used by all buildings, industrial processes and transport and identify cost-effective energy saving measures. It does not mean that you have to have implemented them or spent any money on energy saving measures – just that you have the data and are working up a plan.

    1. Carry out the audit

    Our ESOS infographic gives an overview of the process.   http://axionenergysolutions.co.uk/assets/Esos_-_What_do_I_need_to_know.pdf

    There are some criteria that your audit must meet. As well as calculating total energy use, the assessment must identify areas of significant energy use and suggest ways to reduce this.

    Your DEC and Green Deal Assessment (if you have these) will help to inform this assessment.

    The audit can be carried out by a member of your own staff or can be carried out by an external advisor. This could be your ESOS Lead Assessor (described below).

    There are different types of ESOS audit as explained in a previous article.

    2. Appoint a Lead Assessor

    All qualifying companies need to appoint a Lead Assessor to review their audit, regardless of who carried out the audit.

    The Lead Assessor must be someone who has completed a specific accredited course for
    this purpose.

    You may have the Lead Assessor carry out the audit stage as well if you wish.

    3. Notify the Environment Agency

    Submit a Notice of Compliance online, as described above.


    Now that you have completed ESOS – What next?

    You should have sent your Notice of Compliance to the Environment Agency already. The deadline for submission was 5 December 2015.

    Our ESOS Lead Assessor can help you with this if you are not sure.

    If your ESOS information is inaccurate

    If you discover that this is the case, you can email the Environment Agency to correct your submission. This should be done as soon as possible.

    Maintain evidence of your ESOS compliance

    Whatever method of compliance you used – keep evidence of this so that it can be verified if requested. This is referred to as your ‘Evidence Pack’ and can be in whatever format you believe is appropriate.

    Take the opportunity to make the savings

    The purpose of ESOS is to reduce the energy used and Carbon Footprint of the UK’s biggest businesses. You should now have some actionable data to go on. So, you might as well go on and benefit from those potential savings.

    PR opportunities may also arise

    UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) is seeking case studies for an event in March called the ‘ESOS Showcase’.

    If you have done a particularly extensive audit that could be seen as an exemplar, or have results that are in some way noteworthy, interesting or surprising, then why not apply? Also, you may have begun acting upon the results by implementing well-planned carbon reduction activity. You may be seeing results already. Again, why not publicise this and make a good example of your company?

    UK-GBC is one way of gaining such publicity and they will provide opportunities for speaking at their event and for being published in the accompanying showcase publication.

    Further ESOS audits

    You need to carry out a new ESOS audit every four years. Of course the best way to make this as stress-free as possible next time is to make sure you are routinely collecting all of the information you need.

    Of course this information will be of use to you in other ways. It will allow you to see trends in overall energy use and pinpoint areas of significant or higher than expected use so that you can consider ways of further reducing this. We recommend a continuous improvement approach to energy management.