ESOS guidance was published by the government on 26th June 2014, with a deadline for ESOS Phase One of 5th December 2015 – 528 days for organisations to achieve compliance – simple, right?
Understandably, with the data for ESOS having to overlap the qualification date of 31st December 2014, a lot of organisations left it until 2015 to arrange compliance approaches. A large proportion of these left it late, with last minute requests rolling in, the last of these, very late requests was received in October 2017 (a mere 22 months after the original deadline)!
Managing large volumes of data for an array of clients is something EVORA is used to as part of our day job, but throw in the need for communication of ESOS findings to top management prior to notification and arranging multiple site visits across the UK at short notice, made for a busy end to 2015.
Our Approach to ESOS Phase One
Each company we worked with had an approach tailored to their requirements to ensure the ESOS assessment fit with their operations. We worked with a range of clients including a ‘Big Six’ energy provider, institutional real estate investors, a tyre manufacturer and a bacon packing firm. This resulted in a large breadth of energy saving opportunities identified across different industries.
Whilst many compliance routes were available to participants, after consideration of the options available, the completion of energy audits was the primary compliance route taken by EVORA. These provided tangible detailed savings across both utility and transport energy use. However, we believe moving forwards, the uptake of ISO50001 (one of the compliance routes) may increase due to the additional benefits associated with operating a certified energy management system (in place of audits every four years).
[clickToTweet tweet=”The uptake of ISO50001 may increase due to benefits associated with operating a certified energy management system” quote=”Moving forwards, the uptake of ISO50001 may increase due to the additional benefits associated with operating a certified energy management system”]
In October 2017, EVORA was instructed to complete an ESOS assessment which required submission within ten days. Our client had received an enforcement notice from the Environment Agency (which had been passed around departments for over two months prior to our involvement). A tight turnaround to say the least and shows that the Environment Agency are following up with companies they believe to be non-compliant almost two years after the original deadline.
28 Companies were supported in total with over 400 assessments (site visits, desktop analysis, transport audits) completed. Over 27,200MWh of energy savings (electricity, gas and transport based) were identified through these ESOS assessments. This equated to potential cost savings of £2m in electricity, £0.2m in gas and £0.6m in transport energy spend. All notifications of ESOS compliance were made to the Environment Agency in line with the defined timescales of the scheme.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Over 27,200MWh of energy savings were identified. This equated to £2m electricity, £0.2m gas and £0.6m transport” quote=”Over 27,200MWh of energy savings were identified through ESOS assessments. This equated to £2m in electricity, £0.2m in gas and £0.6m in transport energy spend”]
The ESOS assessment request received in October 2017, was submitted to the Environment Agency, inside four days, a full six days in advance of the deadline. A very tight turnaround (which we do not recommend!), but with full data available and buy-in from top management meant it was achievable.
One of the main learning outcomes we found, was that the smaller companies gained more new information through the energy audit process than the larger organisations. The savings identified via the energy audits were the first time a lot of the smaller companies (i.e. those just exceeding the qualification criteria) had been presented energy saving opportunities with clear payback and life cycle costs included. However, the availability of capital to invest in these opportunities was more restricted for the smaller organisations.