Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme

In late June 2014, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) introduced legislation for an Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), a mandatory energy assessment and energy saving identification scheme for large undertakings (and their corporate groups). It is intended to meet the requirements of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive.

 

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Organisations that qualify for ESOS must carry out ESOS assessments every 4 years. These assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport, to identify cost-effective energy saving measures. 

ESOS applies to large UK undertakings and their corporate groups. It mainly affects businesses but can also apply to not-for-profit bodies and any other non-public sector undertakings that are large enough to meet the qualification criteria. 

The UK regulators are: 

  • Environment Agency for organisations whose registered office is in England. 

  • Natural Resources Wales for organisations whose registered office is in Wales. 

  • Northern Ireland Environment Agency for organisations whose registered office is in Northern Ireland. 

  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency for organisations whose registered office is in Scotland. 

  • Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for organisations whose activities consist wholly or mainly of offshore activities. 

 

For the current purposes of ESOS, a large undertaking is any UK company that either: 

  • Employs 250 or more people. 

  • Has an annual turnover in excess of €50 million (£44,845,000), and an annual balance sheet total in excess of €43 million (£38,566,700). 

  • From 31 December 2022 a large undertaking is any UK company that either: 

  • Employs 250 or more people. 

  • Has an annual turnover in excess of £44 million, and an annual balance sheet total in excess of £38 million. 

 

For your assessment, you need to: 

1. Calculate your total energy consumption 
This is the energy used by assets held or activities carried out by your organisation or group. This includes the energy consumed by buildings, industrial processes and transport. 

 

2. Identify your areas of significant energy consumption 
This is the energy used by assets held, or activities carried out, by your organisation that account for at least 90% of your total energy consumption. You then need to: 

  • Find out whether ISO 50001 (energy management), Display Energy Certificates (DECs) or Green Deal Assessments (GDAs) cover any of your areas of significant energy consumption. 

  • Identify whether ESOS compliant energy audits have been, or need to be, carried out for the areas of significant energy consumption not covered by ISO 50001, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) or Green Deal Assessments (GDAs). 

As long as 90% of your total energy consumption is covered, you can use a mix of approaches with some of your energy consumption covered by ISO 50001 – some by DECs or GDAs and some by ESOS energy audits. 

 

3. Appoint a lead assessor 
You need to appoint a lead assessor to carry out and oversee or review your energy audits and overall ESOS assessment. Lead assessors can be employees or external contractors as long as they are members of an approved professional body register

If you want to become a lead assessor, you have to be (or become) a member of an approved professional body register. Individuals cannot apply directly to the Environment Agency to be approved. Professional bodies can submit registers of their members for approval for them to act as ESOS lead assessors. 

 

4. Notify the Environment Agency 

You need to submit your ESOS notification of compliance to the Environment Agency when you have undertaken an ESOS assessment and are compliant with your obligations. Use the online notification system to do this. You do not need to log in to the system or create an account to submit your notification details. There is no charge for submitting your ESOS notification. 

You can start your notification whenever you’re ready. You can also partially complete your notification and save it for submitting later. The system will send you an email with a link to use to resume. Do not lose this email otherwise you’ll have to start again. As long as you have the email the saved information will not disappear or expire. You can return to it at any time. 

 

5. Keep records 

You need to keep records of how you have complied with ESOS in an evidence pack. There is no set format for this. 

For full and complete guide, we recommend looking through the Environment Agency’s guidance on complying with the ESOS, see the link on this page.  

Need more information?

If you are an FTA member and have a query regarding this topic, or need more information, contact our Member Advice Centre

Member Advice Centre