A view of silhouetted energy pylons and a wind farm at sunset

Phase 2 of Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme imminent

The second phase of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) – a government initiative introduced in 2014 – is due to begin at the end of December 2018.

The ESOS is a mandatory scheme that aims to ensure qualifying businesses meet the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. 

Businesses who meet the qualification criteria on the 31 December 2018 will need to notify the Environmental Agency that they have complied with the scheme, and provide evidence of that compliance. The final deadline for submission of evidence is 5th of December 2019, giving just under a year for qualifying businesses to prove that they comply.

Who qualifies?

ESOS applies to large businesses and corporate groups. It can also apply to not-for-profit businesses and other non public sector businesses that are large enough to meet the qualification criteria. However, it usually does not apply to businesses in the public sector.

A large business under ESOS is one that:

  • is in the UK and
    • employs 250 or more people and/or
    • has an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro (£38,937,777) and an annual balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro (£33,486,489)
  • is an overseas company with a UK registered office and
      employs 250 or more UK employees (paying income tax in the UK)

If your business, or one of the members of a group of companies, meets the criteria on 31st December 2018 then it will qualify for ESOS.

Read more about the qualification criteria in the Environmental Agency's ESOS guide.

What is involved?

This mandatory scheme requires that qualifying organisations carry out ESOS assessments every 4 years. These assessments look at how a business uses energy in every aspect of their operations, from their buildings to their vehicles and industrial processes.

By identifying where energy is used and how, businesses will be able to identify cost-effective energy saving measures, reducing their negative impact on the environment and contributing to the EU’s aim of reducing global warming by 2020.

For an ESOS assessment, you need to:

  1. Calculate your organisation’s energy consumption - This is the total amount of energy used by all of your Organisation’s assets, including buildings, industrial processes and transport.
  2. Identify and audit areas of significant energy consumption within your business - For at least 90% of your total energy consumption you need to identify the sources and then audit these sources. Audits can be performed through a mixture of ISO 50001 audits, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) or Green Deal Assessments (GDAs).
  3. Appoint a lead assessor for your energy audits - You need to appoint a lead assessor to carry out and oversee/review your energy audits and overall ESOS assessment. This can be someone within your organisation or an external provider, but they must be a member of an approved professional body register.
  4. Keep records of your compliance - You need to keep records to prove how your Organisation has complied with ESOS. There is no required format for this evidence.
  5. Notify the Environment Agency - Once you have completed your ESOS assessment, and have the evidence to prove that your Organisation complies with the regulations, you need to submit an ESOS notification of compliance to the Environment Agency. The notification deadline for phase 2 of the scheme is 5th December 2019. ESOS assessments need to be performed every 4 years.

Save time with ISO 50001

If you qualify for ESOS and your organisation is fully covered by a UKAS certified ISO 50001 Energy Management System,  you do not need to carry out an ESOS assessment. You only need notify the Environment Agency that you are compliant with ESOS.

This is because through ISO 50001 your Organisation will already be carrying out all of the tasks necessary for an ESOS assessment. This includes performing the energy audits, gathering and documenting evidence of compliance, and identifying areas of significant energy consumption.

To find out more about managing energy consumption within your business through ISO 50001, and how we can prepare you for a UKAS certification, please speak to one of our Certification Development Consultants by calling 0333 344 3646 or emailing quote@qmsuk.com.

Michelle Janion

Michelle-Louise Janion

Marketing Executive

Michelle has worked for QMS since 2017, producing engaging content around ISO Standards and other compliance related topics.
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