With Energy prices ever increasing, thanks to a winter of wholesale energy spikes, and the impact of global climate change, ways by which we can save money whilst increasing sustainability and reducing consumption are indispensable.
One such scheme, introduced in 2015, is the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) part of the Energy Efficiency Directive from the European Union. It is the UK element of the Environment Agency’s plan and was brought in to encourage large businesses to become more sustainable by recognising and reducing carbon based fuel. To qualify you must have –
- Over 250 employees or more
- A turnover greater than £42.5m
- Or a balance sheet greater than £36.5m
If you fall into this bracket you are required to undertake assessments every 4 years to identify cost-effective energy saving measures on supplies to buildings, industrial processes and transport.
With the UK government currently negotiating our Brexit withdrawal, many people are asking how it may affect ESOS. Although it is currently preserved in UK law, there is no concrete evidence to say it will remain should we leave the EU, so if it’s set to become superfluous should we even bother complying?
Simon Smith CEO of BrightSourced Energy told us –
“First and foremost the Brexit transition period goes beyond the ESOS deadline for Phase 2, so qualifying businesses will still need to adhere to compliance prior to December 2019. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines anywhere between £5,000 to an eye watering £90,000. Coupled with the embarrassment of your business being named and shamed, now is not the time to stall. We will have to see what happens after Phase 2, but we will have another 4 years to work that out anyway.”
Unfortunately another problem organisations face in achieving compliance for the 2019 deadline, is since Phase 1 in 2015, many qualified ESOS assessors have not kept up their accreditation. This is due to cost, the fact their services are redundant between the 4 year phases, and the uncertainty as to whether the scheme will continue post Brexit. Therefore for Phase 2, there are now only around 250 registered and qualified lead assessors to choose from that are registered with the approved professional bodies.
Smith recommends –
“For Phase One, there were circa 350 skilled assessors to manage over 7,000 qualifying UK businesses, many of whom were within the hotel and catering industry. This led to too much work for the resource available and as it got closer to deadline, some businesses were having to pay ridiculous day rates to get their reports completed on time.
For Phase 2, there are more businesses that need to qualify and less assessors available, my advice is get your report done sooner rather than later, as there is just over 12 month left to achieve compliance”
So it would seem whether the requirement for ESOS will be needed post Brexit is unclear. However what is certain, is that it has already had an impact on the number of qualified assessors available to help businesses comply with Phase 2; so it’s inevitable that costs will go up and there may be a problem with organisations being able to complete their reports on time, due to lack of resource. So acting early is the key, whether you are waiting to see what the impact of Brexit on ESOS has or not.
At BrightSourced Energy, we have helped hundreds of businesses in the Hospitality and Catering industry to achieve ESOS compliance. We know that HVAC systems, refrigeration and lighting are some of the main causes for a hospitality building’s energy consumption. Our years of experience within the sector affords us the knowledge to help businesses increase profitability and competitiveness along with being able to identify tried and tested cost-effective savings to reduce carbon footprint for the long-term future.