ESOS requires that organisations that qualify must carry out ESOS assessments every four years. These assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures.
The ESOS legislation is the UK government’s interpretation of Article 8 of the 2012 EU Energy Efficiency Directive. There are three main drivers for the legislation: climate change mitigation, energy security and business improvement.
If we use less energy, we lower our carbon emissions and also make ourselves less reliant on the importation of fuel (particularly from geopolitically ‘volatile’ regions). In addition, we are also reducing the running costs of businesses.
ESOS requires all businesses, above a certain size, to undertake an energy assessment every four years and to register the results with the Environmental Agency. A key aspect of the assessment is that it has be signed off by an accredited ‘Lead Assessor’.
The vast majority of businesses complain about energy costs, but don’t regard energy efficiency as a strategic priority. ESOS will shunt energy efficiency further up that priority list and the interesting thing is that there is nothing to prevent any business from doing it themselves. The Lead Assessor can be appointed from within and no outsourcing is required so long as the assessment is carried out competently and to the compliance criteria.
There will be, of course, a proportion of businesses which will fall within the ESOS criteria but which will not have the internal capability to conduct such an assessment. Such organisations will need to find a Lead Assessor to oversee the compliance process. There has been a lot written about how much compliance will cost and, in the midst of an ocean of misinformation, some quite scary figures have been quoted.
There is no getting around ESOS, so it makes sense – both from an environmental and a business point of view – to simply make the most of it.