What is ESOS?
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is the UK Government’s approach to implementing the requirements of Article 8 of the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU). This directive requires all EU Member States to introduce regular energy audits for enterprises that meet certain criteria.
The ESOS regulation is designed to lead to greater energy efficiency, cost savings and carbon reduction in the business sector. It considers an organisation’s entire energy usage including energy use per employee, buildings, key transport and industrial/commercial processes.
The regulation is applicable to more than 10,000 large UK organisations that are all required to notify the Environment Agency of their chosen route to ESOS compliance by 5 December 2015.
There are four routes to ESOS compliance:
- ISO 50001 certification by an accredited body
- ESOS energy audit
- Display energy certificates
- Green deal assessments
ISO 50001 certification issued by an UKAS-accredited certification body that covers the full scope of your organisation’s energy consumption, will automatically qualify your organisation to comply with the ESOS regulation. All you are then required to do is notify the Environment Agency and provide proof of compliance via this route.
LRQA can ensure your organisation’s ESOS compliance by providing UKAS-accredited certification to ISO 50001. We also have a suite of ISO 50001 training courses to support you through this process.
With recent figures announced by the Environment Agency where only 647 (October 2015) organisations have notified the Environment Agency of their ESOS compliance, the Environment Agency issued a newsletter announcing an extension to the ESOS deadline, which included:
- Enforcement action will now not be taken for late notification provided it is received by 29 January 2015
- Giving until 30 June 2016 to achieve ISO 50001 (international energy management standard) certification as a form of compliance
- A focus on bringing bodies into compliance using enforcement notices where necessary (normally allowing up to 3 months for organisations to remedy the outstanding compliance actions), serving civil penalties only in the most serious cases.
If your organisation will not be compliant by 5 December 2015, you are still required to notify the Environment Agency via an online portal, giving information on why you have been unable to comply and when you expect to submit your notification of compliance.
If your organisation makes a late notification, the Environment Agency expects you to demonstrate your efforts towards ESOS compliance, including the appointment of an UKAS-accredited certification body for ISO 50001 certification or lead assessor for the ESOS energy audit.
Download a copy of the Environment Agency’s newsletter
Who must comply?
UK organisations (and corporate group members within the UK) must comply with the ESOS regulation if they have one of more of the following:
- 250 staff or more
- an annual turnover exceeding €50 million (£38.9M) and an annual balance sheet exceeding €43 million (~£33.5M)
Organisations within the public sector are not required to comply with the ESOS regulation.
Unsure if you need to comply?
The Environment Agency published an ESOS guidance document, 'Complying with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme' (published 17 February 2015), which informs you who is obligated, what you need to do, how you prove compliance, deadlines for compliance and the penalties for non-compliance.
Failure to comply?
Failure to comply with the ESOS regulation can lead to a discretionary fine of up to £40,000. The Environment Agency has outlined their regulation and penalties in their Enforcement and Sanctions Guidance (Annex 4 Section E).
If you are still unsure about whether you need to comply with the ESOS regulation, you should contact the Environment Agency’s ESOS helpdesk for further guidance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How LRQA can help
If your organisation is required to comply with ESOS, LRQA can provide UKAS-accredited ISO 50001 certification. We have been conducting energy management system assessments in the private sector for many years and combined with our energy efficiency experience, LRQA is in an ideal position to help.
Being highly experienced in both commercial and industrial settings, our energy assessors can audit the full scope of your organisation’s energy consumption, ensuring you automatically comply with ESOS.
We appreciate that every organisation is different, so to find out how we can help you please call us on 0800 783 2179 or complete our enquiry form.