With 365 days until large UK organisations must comply with new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) legislation, one of the UK’s leading energy and water consultancies, Utilitywise, has issued a warning that the business impacted may be missing out on over £63 million of energy savings. Based on preparatory work with over 400 businesses Utilitywise has identified that the average firm that is required to comply with the mandatory scheme could save 13% of their energy costs, but only if audit findings are used as a springboard to minimise consumption.
ESOS is an energy assessment and energy savings identification scheme for large organisations in the UK. Whilst public bodies are not affected large organisations of more than 250 employees, or those that have an annual turnover of £40 million and a balance sheet of more than £34 million must comply with the new rules. The legislation requires those affected to be compliant, having undertaken an ESOS audit (or obtaining an alternative route to compliance), by 5 December next year or facing fines of potentially tens of thousands of pounds.
In order to be compliant companies must cover all process, transport and energy use. This can be achieved either by specifically commissioning an ESOS Audit, holding or gaining ISO 50001 certification, holding a valid Display Energy Certificate (DEC) accompanied by a recommendation report for each building or having a Green Deal assessment for each building. Yet, the recommendations in every audit are voluntary.
Commenting on the one year to go deadline Tim Hipperson said: “With only 12 months to be compliant this legislation has suddenly become more real for companies right across the UK. Whilst the light touch nature of the way the legislation is welcome, thousands of companies may miss out if they only view ESOS a tick box exercise. Through our work with almost 20,000 clients we know that poor buying and management of utilities stops growth and damages businesses’ bottom lines. Rather, ESOS compliance can act as a springboard for energy to be managed more effectively.”
To respond to the countdown to compliance the energy and water consultancy has launched its ‘Utilitywise ESOS Solutions Squad’. Made up of over 25 experienced consultants, with the ability to act as ESOS Lead Assessor or help through being ISO50001 Lead Auditors, the team provides businesses with expert advice on the right energy solutions. This includes options ranging from an initial ESOS recommendation report through to the compliance and project management of the energy-saving opportunities that ESOS identifies.
Tim Hipperson adds: “One of the key aspects of ESOS is that at least one or two Board members must sign off on the compliance. This is a crucial change to how energy might be prioritised by a senior management team. By seeing where the money is being spent, and how this could be managed better, ESOS can help secure more senior buy-in for cost-saving changes from biomass planning to a simple lighting upgrade. With all of the considerable ESOS experience that we have accumulated, Utilitywise has designed a flexible approach to the ESOS process for our clients. This means that we minimise disruption and get the job done quickly and cost-effectively. Clear and practical reports will illustrate exactly where valuable savings can be made, together with a Return on Investment illustration to support decision making.”
Utilitywise is already working with clients like Joy Global in the UK. Richard Clarke, Sales and Operations Planning Manager at the mining solutions company says: “Utilitywise takes care of our compliance with the ESOS scheme, which has been of great benefit to Joy Global (UK) Limited. Our Carbon Consultant keeps us up to date on all the latest legislation and is always available to offer excellent advice. Utilitywise is a great asset to any company, and I trust them fully when it comes to procuring and managing our energy.”