How Does The Government ESOS Scheme Affect Your Business?

how does the government ESOS scheme affect your business feature image Posted on 4th May 2017 by Ged Ennis

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme is a national initiative that’s been around for some time now. As the name might suggest, it’s aimed at helping our nation become more efficient and environmentally friendly. (Incidentally, solar panels are a fantastic way to achieve this; giving you greener, cleaner energy.) So what exactly is ESOS, and is it something that affects your business?

What Is The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme?

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ESOS is the UK government’s response to the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive, which was introduced in 2012. ESOS is a compulsory energy assessment scheme administrated by the Environment Agency, and apply to every organisation that meets its definition of a “large undertaking”. These organisations have to carry out an energy assessment audit once every four years. The audits cover buildings, industrial processes and transportation, and are used to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.

Basically, ESOS acts to make the UK’s biggest organisations greener and more efficient, which has wide-ranging positive impacts on our sustainability as a nation. And given our expertise in business energy services here at Low Carbon Energy, that’s music to our ears.

Does Your Business Qualify For ESOS?

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In order for your company to be affected by ESOS, you have to meet its definition of a “large undertaking”. So that applies to:

  • Any UK company that employs 250 or more people
  • Any UK company that has an annual turnover of more than €50m (£39m) and an annual balance sheet total in excess of €43m (£33m)
  • Any overseas company with a UK registered establishment which has more than 250 or more UK employees (and paying income tax in the UK)

If your business meets any of these criteria, you’re legally obliged to take part in ESOS in order to maximise your energy efficiency. It’s a legal obligation, though, that could end up saving you a lot of money, so it’s not something to be sniffed at!

What Do You Need To Do?

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If you don’t qualify for ESOS, then obviously you won’t need to do anything. But if you do qualify, you need to get either a UK-AS accredited ISO 50001 (which will cover your obligation), or complete an ESOS compliance test.

In order to do that, you’ve got to appoint a Lead Energy Assessor. There are a couple of options available for you to do this – Lead Energy Assessors can be external contractors or even internal employees. The only main requirement is that they’re licenced with an approved professional body register.

Your Lead Energy Assessor will then complete the ESOS compliance by:

  • Measuring the total energy consumptions of your buildings, processes and vehicles
  • Identifying areas of significant energy usage, accounting for at least 90% of your total energy consumption
  • Recommend cost-effective energy efficiency measures for these major areas

The final step is then to keep records of this assessment, and notify the Environment Agency that the audit has been carried out. And that’s all it takes! A new qualification period starts once every four years.

  • The first ever one was in December of 2015, with the next one starting on 5 December 2019.
  • You’ll need to have qualified for this second period by 31st December 2018.
  • You’ll also need proof of your compliance covering 5th December 2015 to 5th December 2019 by 5th December 2019.

Past 2019, the scheme will run again for another four years, during which you’ll need to organise a repeat of the audit. It all goes towards building a greener future!

A greener future is what we’re all about here at Low Carbon Energy, and we’ve got a number of solar panel solutions to help your business achieve it. What’s more, we offer expert advice and consultancy tailored to your organisation to help you maximise your energy efficiency and financial savings along the way. Click here to see some of the sectors we service, or alternatively you can check out some of our case studies to see what we’ve done for businesses just like yours!

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