Are you looking for help with your Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Audit?

We’ve put together some frequently asked questions about the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme below to help you understand what’s involved.

If you have any additional questions or need help with your Assessment please get in touch and contact us.

Does your organisation qualify for ESOS?

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme applies to all large organisations in the UK. Your organisation will qualify for ESOS if it has:

a) 250 or more employees, or
b) fewer than 250 employees but an annual turnover of €50m or more and balance sheet that exceeds €43m.

In addition, if a corporate group contains at least one large UK organisation, all UK organisations of that group must comply with ESOS, regardless of their size.

ESOS only applies to organisations that operate in the UK.

Does the public sector qualify for ESOS? (Universities for example)

No, public sector organisations do not fall within the scheme.

Under ESOS, public sector organisations are defined as those organisations that are subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and the Public Contracts Regulations 2012 in Scotland.

If a university is not subject to these public contract regulations, it will be required to participate in the scheme. This will be determined by how each university is funded. If a university receives more than half of its income from private sources such as fee-paying students or research grants from private sources, it may not need to comply with public contracts regulations and therefore, it will not be deemed a public sector organisation and will have to comply with ESOS

My organisation qualifies for ESOS - What do we need to do next?

If you qualify under the scheme your organisation is required to conduct an ESOS Assessment which will include:

  • an initial estimate of your total energy consumption (covering energy used in buildings, transport and industrial processes)
  • the identification of areas of significant energy consumption, comprising at least of 90% of your total energy consumption
  • the appointment of a ‘Lead Assessor’ to conduct and/or oversee a detailed energy audit of these areas in order to establish where energy savings can be made. (Note: There will be a case where the appointment of a Lead Assessor will not be necessary.)
  • having the ESOS Assessment reviewed and signed off by the Lead Assessor and a board-level director
  • notifying the Environment Agency that you have complied with the scheme.
What is an energy audit?

An energy audit is the examination of how energy is used in an organisation. Carrying out an energy audit will help you understand and improve the energy performance of the organisation. It includes:

  • measurement of the energy consumption of an organisation’s assets and activities through the review of energy data and data management processes
  • detection of any variations in energy consumption and the main drivers of these variations
  • identification of cost-effective energy saving opportunities.

    It also includes carrying out site visits in order to verify that the audit findings and energy saving recommendations are practical and applicable to the organisation.

Is there a defined format or template for energy audit data?

No, there is no defined format or template for ESOS energy audits. However, the UK Government highlights the importance of presenting the audit findings in a clear and accessible manner.

Is an energy audit the only way to comply with the scheme?

No, an energy audit is not the only way to comply with the scheme. There are a number of alternative routes to compliance such as:

  • implementing and operating an externally-certified ISO 50001 energy management system
  • obtaining Display Energy Certificates (DECs), and
  • carrying out Green Deal Assessments.
  • DECs and Green Deal Assessments cover only energy used in buildings and require review by an ESOS Lead Assessor. An ISO 50001 energy management system that covers all areas of significant energy consumption is the only route to ESOS compliance that does not require the appointment of a Lead Assessor. If your organisation qualifies, you may choose a single route or a combination of routes to compliance, as long as all areas of significant energy consumption are covered.

    We already participate in other energy auditing schemes. Do we still have to participate?

    Yes, you will still need to participate as ESOS is a mandatory energy efficiency assessment and energy savings identification scheme.

    If your organisations meets the qualification criteria, it must comply with ESOS, regardless of its participation in other energy auditing schemes. However, for the purposes of ESOS compliance, qualifying organisations will be allowed to use any audit work undertaken as part of other energy auditing schemes as long as the appointed Lead Assessor approves that these activities meet the minimum requirements of an ESOS Assessment.

    If we comply with the scheme, will have to do it again in the future?
    Yes, ESOS will run in repeating 4-year phases. During each phase, organisations will have to assess if they qualify for the scheme, and if they do so, they will have to comply with the requirements of ESOS.
    What happens if we don't comply?
    Under ESOS, compliance bodies (the Environment Agency, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Protection Environment Agency) will be authorised to apply civil penalties including fines against non- compliant organisations. They will also have the right to publish information on non-compliance including the name of the organisation, details of non-compliance and the penalty amount.

    If your organisation qualifies for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) then Green Element can help. 

    Would you like some advice about the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme?

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