A range of changes have been made to the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) that helps businesses reduce their energy consumption.
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a mandatory energy assessment scheme established by the UK government to help businesses reduce their energy consumption and lower their energy costs. Large businesses and organisations, including those in the public sector, are required to conduct regular energy assessments and take steps to improve energy efficiency.
To be eligible, a business or organisation must employ at least 250 people, or have an annual turnover greater than £44 million and an annual balance sheet greater than £38 million, or your business is part of a larger organisation which falls into the criteria above.
In the recent update, assessment requirements have been revised in several key ways. One major change is that reports must now be presented in a standardised template. If organisations are using manual methods or spreadsheets, they will need to adopt the new layout and templates that have been published.
Another change is that the de minimis, which is the amount of energy that organisations are allowed to ignore, has been reduced from 10.75 per cent to five per cent. This means that organisations will need to analyse more energy than they used to and take more comprehensive account of their energy usage.
In addition, organisations will now be required to include an energy intensity metric in their reports. This metric measures the energy consumption of each site in relation to some other variable, such as the number of full-time equivalent employees or square footage. This will allow organisations to league-table their sites and identify which are the most and least efficient.
Organisations will also be required to share their reports with any subsidiary companies, and to implement the next steps of meeting any recommendations made in the report. In addition, they will be required to publish an action plan outlining what steps they will take to improve their energy efficiency. Finally, in ESOS phase 4, which is in 2027, organisations will have to report back on their progress against targets set in the previous phase.
ESOS Phase 3 assessments
To conduct an ESOS Phase 3 assessment you will need an ESOS-approved Lead Assessor, individuals or organisations that have been approved by the UK government to conduct energy assessments under the scheme. They can provide guidance and support throughout the entire ESOS process, including helping to identify energy-saving opportunities and developing a plan of action to implement improvements.
Darryl Mattocks, managing director of Enistic, is the UK’s top Lead Assessor and has helped over 300 companies to diminish their energy consumption and carbon emissions, providing compliance services (ESOS, SECR, TFCD, etc.), design and bureau services to make it easier for energy managers to reduce their energy expenditure, energy consumption, carbon footprint and comply with their legal obligations.
When you contact a Lead Assessor, they will typically ask for some basic information about your organisation such as your annual turnover and the number of employees, Mattocks explains. They will also ask about your current energy consumption and usage patterns. Based on this information, they will be able to provide you with an estimate of the cost of the consultation, as well as the estimated time required to complete the assessment.
Some lead assessor offer free consultations for ESOS compliance, this can be done by providing detailed information about your energy consumption, so it is helpful to have ready your energy bills, and also gather information about your building facilities, heating, lighting, and transportation system, this will be useful for the lead assessor to give a more accurate assessment and also gives them a better understanding of your business energy consumption pattern.
Detailed energy analysis
The consultation typically involves a site visit by the Lead Assessor, during which they will conduct a detailed analysis of your organisation’s energy consumption. This may include conducting energy audits of buildings, plant and equipment; reviewing energy bills and metering data; assessing transport use and fuel consumption; identifying areas where energy efficiency improvements can be made and providing recommendations on how to implement these improvements. The Lead Assessor will then produce a report outlining the findings of the assessment and the recommended actions to be taken.
Mattocks says it is important to note that ESOS scheme compliance is mandatory, non-compliance can result in penalty fines, so it is important to book a consultation as soon as possible and work with the Lead Assessor to implement the recommended actions in order to meet the compliance deadline.
The changes to the ESOS scheme aim to encourage organisations to take a more comprehensive and strategic approach to managing their energy consumption. By implementing the new requirements and working with an approved Lead Assessor, organisations can improve their energy efficiency, lower their energy costs, and comply with the mandatory regulations.