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The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is already running and not optional. Fines could run to tens of thousands. What is ESOS and does it apply to you?
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) means many UK companies must undertake in-depth analysis of their energy usage to identify potential energy savings. These audits are required every four years.
ESOS is not optional – it was introduced in July 2014 by the UK Government to comply with the European Energy Efficiency Directive.
Surprisingly, the type of work your company does and the amount of energy you use are irrelevant. In short, you must comply if:
Even those in non-for-profit and public sectors may have to comply with ESOS.
If you are very close to the threshold for qualification or have recently grown or shrunk, you may need to look back over several accounting periods. Need to comply is determined by whether you have maintained size for at least two consecutive accounting periods. The (somewhat technical) exact wording reads:
“Where, in any accounting period, an undertaking is a large undertaking (or a small or medium undertaking, as the case may be), it retains that status until it falls within the definition of a small or medium undertaking (or a large undertaking, as the case may be) for two consecutive accounting periods.”
The original qualifying date for ESOS was 31 December 2014 so initial requirements on compliance are based on the nature of your company at that time. Subsequent compliance periods are every four years after that:
|Compliance period||Qualification date||Compliance period||Compliance date|
|1||31/12/14||17/07/14* to 05/12/15||05/12/15|
|2||31/12/18||06/12/15 to 05/12/19||05/12/19|
|3||31/12/22||06/12/19 to 05/12/23||05/12/23|
|4||31/12/26||06/12/23 to 05/12/27||05/12/27|
An ISO 50001 energy management system certified by an accredited body and covering all your energy use counts as your ESOS assessment. To be compliant:
Other acceptable substitutes are:
Penalties range from what is essentially a slap on the wrist (a compliance notice asking for more details or an enforcement notice explaining how to comply with ESOS requirements) to fines ranging from £5,000 to £50,000. Perhaps most worryingly, an additional £500 can be charged for each working day for up to 80 days. Reputational damage could also result if you are ‘named and shamed’.
Complying with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/445205/LIT_10094.pdf
Contact the Environment Agency ESOS help desk: ESOS@environment-agency.gov.uk
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