Organisations in the UK with 250 employees, or an annual turnover of £44 million, must publish their significant energy consumption and identify energy savings opportunities, as per Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) requirements.
ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme, administered by the Environment Agency, that requires companies to complete ESOS assessments once every 4 years. These assessments are audits of the energy used by infrastructure, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy-saving measures.
Organisations must notify the Environment Agency that they have complied with their ESOS obligations with the first deadline for compliance back in December 2015. The deadline for the second compliance period (ESOS phase 2) was December 2019, with the third period scheduled for December 2023. Failure to undertake an energy audit to these deadlines can result in a fixed penalty of up to £50,000, plus an additional £500 for each working until the breach is remedied, subject to a maximum of 80 days.
Completing an ESOS assessment involves the following steps:
- Identify all parts of your organisation.
- Identify your total energy consumption.
- Identify your significant energy consumption (at least 90% of your total energy consumption).
- Carry out an audit on all your significant energy consumption and identify energy savings opportunities.
- Get the report reviewed by the lead assessor and signed off by the directors.
- Notify the Environment Agency you have completed your ESOS requirements.
All organisations need to have their ESOS assessment signed off by an ESOS lead assessor, who is a member of an approved professional body register. It is the responsibility of the organisation to select an auditor with the necessary skills and experience for full compliance.
If you have a certified ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management System (EnMS), which covers all of your energy use as defined under ESOS, then this counts as your ESOS assessment. All you need to do is notify the Environment Agency that you’re compliant with ESOS.
ISO 50001 goes beyond the requirements of ESOS by implementing a system that gathers accurate energy usage data and develops a plan to implement them to create savings. The legal requirements for ESOS only require that energy-saving opportunities are identified and published, as opposed to applying them. Developing and implementing an EnMS enables organisations to take a systematic approach in order to achieve improvement in energy efficiency, use and consumption.
The framework for the EnMS helps companies improve performance by highlighting significant energy usage sources, understanding their energy baseline, and implementing energy performance indicators. The standard is based on a continual improvement model so it requires an organisation to continually evaluate the success of its energy consumption plan and keep improving it.
If you’re looking for a business integrated system that minimises energy costs and environmental effects and removes the burden of carrying out ESOS audits every 4 years, then implementing ISO 50001 could be the right path for you. The standard is easily integrated into existing management system standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, or as a stand-alone system. Please contact us to learn more about ISO Management Systems and how they can help your organisation improve its energy performance and achieve legal compliance.