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How to make ESOS work for you

Liz Minshall
Jun 14, 2018

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) requires certain businesses to carry out energy audits and identify energy saving opportunities.

The main aim of the scheme is to encourage businesses to actively engage with energy management and save energy, through enforcing monitoring to identify specific actions to take. However, for many that participated in Phase 1, implementing the measures proved to be challenging.

I recently spoke to Peter Cassidy from Integral Energy to discuss some of the issues and opportunities around energy monitoring and audits. I’ve shared some of the questions raised and his responses below:

Aside from compliance, why should you consider putting energy monitoring in place?

In simple terms you can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you don’t monitor energy use you can’t identify opportunities for savings. Of course monitoring per se does not save energy; however, actions taken as a result can.

If monitoring is put in place you should be able to:

  • profile all energy distribution across the business
  • identify waste and reduce the base load
  • determine energy reporting, reveal patterns and exceptions
  • set performance targets
  • provide support for decision making
  • measure the ‘before and after’ results of energy saving interventions

Once energy monitoring is in place, audits are the next step. What are some of the benefits of conducting an energy audit?

An energy audit should provide independent, best-in-class recommendations. These should not only help improve energy efficiency but the bottom line as well. The recommendations from an audit should be practical and costed, and provide an outline for an energy management action plan, those crucial next steps.

Energy audits can also be used as a vehicle for engaging others with a raft of other sustainability initiatives that may otherwise not be given priority. An energy audit, especially as ESOS requires director sign off, also provides an opportunity to engage senior decision makers.

What are the challenges for businesses when implementing actions from energy audits?

We carried out a number of ESOS Phase 1 programmes and found that:

  • not many businesses knew their pattern of energy use due to not having the right monitoring in place first
  • there were barriers to obtaining the buy in for the investment for technologies to reduce energy consumption
  • some businesses did not have energy management systems or energy procedures in place, which meant energy management wasn’t integral to core business practices
  • few had members of staff who were responsible for energy management and implementing savings

However, that wasn’t the case for all businesses. Many have proactive energy management systems in place, as saving energy is seen as a key part of business strategy. In fact, through our discussions with companies regarding ESOS Phase 2, we have found that more are interested in taking a wider, beyond compliance, view of ESOS and are already planning to feed audit results into the core business.

What are the key steps you would recommend taking?

There are a number of steps a business can take. Some of which are as follows:

      Define the level and type of energy monitoring and implement it!
      Decide on your approach to energy management - An energy management system or energy audits to produce an action plan?
      Engage an auditor to identify practical costed energy saving opportunities
      Act on those opportunities - plan and allocate responsibilities, resources, implement trials and engage staff at all levels to implement the initiatives identified in your audit

How Valpak can help

To ensure compliance with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) companies should act now! We have developed a service to fulfil all of your ESOS compliance requirements. If you would like to find out more please do not hesitate to contact me on 03450 682 572  or email env.compliance@valpak.co.uk

If you’re unsure if your business needs to comply, why not use Valpak's quick assessment tool or view the ESOS guide for more information.

Alternatively, I am hosting a free “Preparing for ESOS” seminar on 22 November 2018, where I will discuss and explore the requirements of ESOS and detail the actions that need to be taken. Visit our events page to book online.

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