Whilst there has been quite a deal of noise about the scheme, and a certain amount of panic, the overall message to industry should be one of calm. The scheme has genuinely been designed in a flexible and business-friendly manner and there is no sign of the usual ‘gold plating’ of Brussels regulation.
ESOS is the UK’s approach to implementing the requirement of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive for all non-SMEs to conduct an energy efficiency audit/assessment of their operations by the end of 2015 and once every four years after this date. In practical terms this means that all companies in the UK with over 250 employees or an annual turnover of over €50m and an annual balance sheet of over €43m will need to conduct comprehensive energy efficiency assessments of their assets and activities during the course of 2015.
The energy audits themselves will need to cover at least 90% of an organisation’s total energy consumption (including transport-related fuel), must establish energy consumption profiles for various areas of business and, most importantly, make recommendations for cost-effective energy efficiency measures. The overall assessment must be overseen and approved by a qualified energy professional ‘lead assessor’ and following this obtain board-level signoff in order to encourage an understanding of the importance of energy efficiency from senior management within organisations.
The deadline for compliance with the new scheme is 5December 2015. More information is available at the ESOS information website, and the official ESOS guidance is available here.
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