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New legislation alert: Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme… Who, what, why?

Tim Rainbow
Oct 16, 2014

During the summer of this year (2014) a new piece of policy led environmental legislation emerged called ESOS, otherwise known as the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme. This new initiative aims to reduce the demand for energy use in the UK and will do so by implementing a legal requirement for all large UK organisations to audit their energy consumption.

ESOS has arisen from the European Union’s (EU) Energy Efficiency Directive, which places a requirement on all EU member states to implement compulsory energy auditing. Exactly how (or when) other member states will start to introduce their own ‘ESOS’ or equivalent is something Valpak are currently investigating.

Do I need to comply with ESOS?

Your organisation will be affected if on 31 December 2014 it meets the following criteria:

  1. Company has 250 or more employees, or
  2. Less than 250 employees but an annual turnover of more than €50m and a balance sheet exceeding €43m. Note this is euros and not pounds

I'm in, what next?

In its simplest form, ESOS requires affected organisations to do the following:

  • Measure total energy consumption over a 12 month period between December 2011 - 2015
  • Determine areas of significant energy consumption
  • Audit 90% of total energy consumption
  • Confirm compliance with ESOS with the relevant environmental agency by December 2015

ESOS in practice

Initially ESOS may not appear to be a particularly complex piece of legislation to comply with and the same could be said for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), which is another, although related, subject entirely. However, affected organisations may face a number of challenges when ESOS is applied to real life scenarios. For example, will you be able to access the structure for the whole group? Will data gathering be as simple as sending a request for data to a colleague who works for a subsidiary? Is the ownership of your company or site clearly defined? I am certain that this small list of questions will generate different answers dependent on which affected organisation I ask. All scenarios may throw up potential issues and delays.

In a nutshell, ESOS has been designed to encourage large organisations to think more carefully about their current energy use and the energy saving opportunities that are available to them. As ESOS will be a legal requirement, it will most certainly find its way onto the desks of company directors and CEOs, who I am sure will feel compelled to act on the results of an energy audit and to implement the recommended energy saving measures. Forecasts are currently available which leave me with no doubt that if ESOS works energy saving potential will be huge. If this proves not to be the case ESOS will be nothing more than a tick box exercise and outsourcing will become a cost driven process rather than the desired value and service driven process.

How can Valpak help you to comply with ESOS?

If the requirements of ESOS sound like a potential drain on your organisation’s resources then you will be pleased to hear that Valpak will be providing a full compliance service. This will include:

  • An obligation assessment
  • Registration with the relevant environmental agency
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • ESOS auditing
  • Verification / audit
  • Submission
  • Maintenance of evidence packs
  • Support with environmental agency audits

If you would like to find out more or would like to register your interest in Valpak’s ESOS Compliance Scheme please visit our ESOS web page.

We have an Energy Effiency Legislative Overview webinar coming up on the 22 March 2017, which you can book onto here, or visit our Events and Training page to book onto some of our other events.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this weblog represent those of the individual authors and not those of Valpak Limited or any other organisation.