Energy assessment deadline for UK businesses nears
Anne Adrain, Assistant Director, Sustainability and Assurance, provides an update on the upcoming mandatory energy assessments for large businesses in the UK.
There are less than four months until all large UK businesses must comply with the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) requirement to undertake environmental assessments of their operations every four years.
There is some concern that many organisations may not be ready to comply with the 5 December deadline, as 73% of companies who qualify have yet to start mandatory audits, and 61% still need to appoint a lead assessor.
The Environment Agency recently issued a second warning to those organisations who qualify under the new ESOS regulations.
Erik Archer, Associate Director of environmental solutions company IES, stated: "All indications are that the Government will not extend the deadline…companies worried about running out of time should be looking at how they can achieve compliance.
He added that there are a number of dedicated software tools available to "enable companies to minimise the drain on resource, reduce the cost of the process, work smarter and mitigate business risk".
Which organisations are affected by the ESOS requirements?
An organisation will qualify for the ESOS requirements if it meets at least one of the following criteria:
- The organisation has more than 250 employees.
- The organisation 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).
In addition, any organisation that is part of a group that contains a qualifying undertaking must also comply with the new requirements.
UK registered members of an overseas company will also need to take part in ESOS (regardless of its size) if any other part of the group's UK activities meet the ESOS qualifying criteria.
What is the ESOS assessment process?
ESOS was established by the UK Government to comply with Article 8 (4-6) of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU). It requires those organisations that qualify, based on the above criteria, to carry out an assessment of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport with the aim of identifying cost-effective energy saving measures.
The ESOS assessment process requires organisations to:
- Calculate the total energy consumption consumed by their buildings, industrial processes and transport.
- Identify areas that account for at least 90% of their total energy consumption.
- Appoint a lead assessor to carry out and oversee or review their energy audits and overall ESOS assessment.
- Submit their notification of compliance to the Environment Agency in the first instance by 5 December 2015, and if applicable, every four years thereafter.
- Keep records of how they have complied with the ESOS requirements.
Exemptions are available for those organisations that qualify for ESOS and are fully covered by ISO 50001. In these instances, the organisation need only notify the Environment Agency that it is compliant with ESOS.
How can I find out more?
More information on the ESOS requirements can be found on the government's website. You can also access a list of approved ESOS lead assessors.