‘It is official; the compliance period for Phase 2 of the UK government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is underway and qualifying organisations are now able to begin the compliance process.’
With these words, the Carbon Trust broke the news that ESOS Phase 2, the next iteration of the Government’s drive to up the ante on energy efficiency across the UK, is here.
The Trust argues the earlier the opportunities are identified, the sooner energy saving projects can be implemented; a universal truth that’s especially relevant to ESOS. And thus the faster firms act, the more money they can save.
‘Getting moving on ESOS Phase 2 today will help organisations to minimise the risk of disruption during the compliance process and get maximum financial value from cost-effective energy efficiency,’ the Trust continues.
But now Phase 2 is finally here, is anything new in the scheme, and what’s the next step for expectant businesses keen to play the ESOS game?
ESOS Phase 2: the facts
The regulations require affected organisations to take three important steps before the compliance date of 5 December 2019:
- They must measure their total energy consumption;
- They must conduct audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities; and
- They must report compliance to their national scheme administrator; the Environment Agency in England, SEPA in Scotland, NIEA in Northern Ireland and NRW in Wales.
The Environment Agency announced Phase 2 in its newsletter, saying: “If you know that you will qualify for Phase 2, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start doing your energy assessments now.”
Industry news-site EDIE, reports that all organisations that undertook an energy audit as the compliance route for ESOS Phase 1 will have to repeat the exercise; their audit needs to be based on at least one year’s energy measurement, which can be taken from any year long period between 6 December 2014 and 5 December 2019. This cannot be the same data that was used last time around.
It is worth remembering, notes EDIE, that as with Phase 1 of the scheme, any qualifying organisation can become automatically compliant with ESOS by achieving ISO 50001 certification and providing evidence that they have done so.
Move on ESOS for major benefit
“We see ESOS as ‘golden tape’ not red tape,” comments Bob Hall, Managing Director, Greenlite. “It can be tricky to know whether your firm is affected, and trickier still to measure your energy and work out how the audit can lead to big cash savings. As a starting point, we recommend firms feeling uncertain about where to begin, look at the UK government’s Guide to implementing Energy Savings Opportunities developed by the Carbon Trust.
“At Greenlite we believe that energy efficiency is the route to making more savings and running your business more efficiently. Our experience of Phase 1 illustrates that ESOS provides the perfect incentive and we support the EA’s message that companies impacted by ESOS should start the process early, because the earlier they start the process, getting the audit and making those upgrades, the sooner the savings will be enjoyed.”