Another day, another acronym and the latest that many UK organisations will need to get their heads around is ESOS – the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.
Launched in response for the requirement of all EU member states to implement Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, ESOS is an energy assessment and saving identification scheme.
It is mandatory for those organisations with 250 or more employees in the UK. It also applies if the business has fewer than 250m employees but has an annual turnover exceeding €50m and a balance sheet of more than €43m.
Compliance requires businesses to consider 90% of their total energy consumption across their operations. So, is this likely to be an onerous piece of legislation that these businesses need to comply with?
Not so, according to Mike Dowd, Sales Director at management system specialists, Equas. “There are various methods for compliance – ESOS Energy Audits, Display Energy Certificates and reporting and Green Deal Assessments. These will involve engaging third parties to carry out energy audits and can prove expensive.”
However, according to Mike, the smart route to compliance lies through ISO 50001 certification. He commented: “If you have ISO 50001, it ticks all the ESOS boxes so long as it has been certified during the four year compliance phase and is still valid at the compliance date.”
The introduction of the 2008 Climate Change Act, which was the world’s first legally binding climate change target, certainly brought the subject into sharp focus and proved a real wake up call for businesses to radically improve their energy efficiency.
“The objective of the Act is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, so there’s a lot to go for. Our energy management systems, using ISO in a Box™ or our web-based Activ Online Management System™, guarantee ISO 50001 certification and full ESOS compliance,” said Mike.
He added: “Those businesses that have an ISO 14001-complaint Environmental Management System need to understand that it is not sufficient to meet the ESOS criteria but we can help them make a straightforward transition to ISO 50001.”
Qualifying businesses will need to submit a formal notification to the scheme’s administrators, the Environment Agency, confirming that they have met the ESOS requirements and the Agency has the power to impose penalties for non compliance. In addition, those qualifying businesses who do not comply may find their details published in a ‘sin list’ on the Environment Agency website. This will make it pretty simple for your customers, stakeholders and potential investors to check out your ‘green’ credentials.