ESOS - Phase 2 Deadline Imminent!

ESOS - Phase 2 Deadline Imminent!

  • Date: Tuesday 3rd September 2019
  • PDF: Download

ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for larger organisations in the UK that meet the qualification criteria, administered by the Environment Agency (EA). Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out ESOS assessments every four years, covering their buildings, processes and transport. The aim of these assessments is to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.

Organisations must notify the EA that they have complied with their ESOS obligations by a set deadline.  The first compliance period deadline of 5th December 2015 has now passed and the deadline for the second compliance period is coming up on 5th December 2019.  It is currently expected that ESOS will continue to be a requirement for those large organizations and the third compliance period deadline will be on 5th December 2023.

Does ESOS apply to my organisation?

If you work for a large organisation then ESOS might apply, providing you meet the following criteria:

  • 250 or more employees, or
  • Annual turnover over $44,845,000 (50m Euro), and an annual balance sheet total in excess of £38,566,700 (43m Euro)
  • Overseas company with a UK registered establishement having 250 or more UK tax-paying employees

Public sector organisations do not usually need to comply with ESOS.

How can my organisation claim compliance with ESOS?

Compliance with ESOS can be achieved in various ways depending on your starting point, including:

1.       Conduct an ESOS Assessment

This is the most common route to compliance, but it can be argued that this is often the most costly and time-consuming, with limited value added as the route is aimed purely at notifying the EA of compliance with ESOS and nothing systematic exists much beyond that.

Typically, organisations must:

  • Calculate the energy used by your assets and activities across your organisation
  • Identify the areas where there is significant consumption
  • Appoint an approved, professional 'Lead Assessor' to carry out and oversee or review your energy audits and subsequent ESOS assessment.  Lead assessors must be a member of an approved professional body register 
  • Notify the EA that you are compliant with your obligations via an online system
  • Keep records of your compliance audit trail in an evidence pack of your choosing 

2.       Achieve certification to ISO 50001:2018

This route is initially comparable to the standard ESOS assessment route above but continues to add value long after ESOS compliance is achieved.  This is because it uses an ongoing ‘systems approach’ based on ISO certification as the evidence of your assessment.

Organisations with management systems certified to ISO 14001, 9001 or 45001 will already be familiar with the ISO approach and concept of ‘continuous improvement’, and ISO 50001 is no different in this respect.  The focus of the standard is ‘energy management’ and involves a very similar process of monitoring energy consumption and strategically driving efficiency improvements over time.  This obviously results in reduced environmental impacts but also has secondary benefits such as the cost savings, reputational gains and advantage with tender applications that usually come with ISO certification. 

Organisations that qualify for ESOS and choose to use the ISO 50001 route to compliance have very little extra to do:

  • Achieve or maintain ISO 50001 certification with a UKAS-accredited certifcation body
  • Ensure Diretors 'sign-off' the energy management data your system has gathered
  • Notify the EA of your ISO 50001 compliance route using the online system

An existing ISO 14001 system can often very easily have ISO 50001 certification blended into it with very little additional cost or difficulty. This is because energy consumption is one of the aspects and impacts that such an organisation will have to be assessing and managing already.  ISO 50001 simply enhances the focus on energy management to formalise this particular aspect further still.

I’d like to know more…

If you think that ESOS may apply to your organisation and you’d like more detailed guidance you can access a useful guidance document from the Environment Agency which takes you through the detail. 

You might already have ISO 14001 certification, or perhaps you just like the sound of being certified to an internationally recognised standard which will deliver continuous improvement in your energy efficiency whilst having the bonus of meeting ESOS compliance with no additional work. 

If so, SSG can help with our many years of experience in supporting organisations in the design and build of ISO management systems for Energy, Environment, Health & Safety and Quality.  Please contact a member of our Customer Service Team for more information on how we can help you towards achieving ESOS compliance through ISO 50001 certification.

Source: Chris Prior, SSG

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