The Importance of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

21-February-2019 14:16
in General
by Admin

The government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is now fast approaching, with compliance required by the 5th of December 2019.



With only 10 months left until the deadline, there isn’t much time left, if the business world has learned anything from ESOS phase one, it’s that they shouldn’t leave it until late in the day to ensure compliance.

There was a UK-wide scramble for guidance and assessment for the deadline, pushing prices higher and resulting in missed deadlines. Fines from the last phase had reached up to the tens of thousands due to missed deadlines, and this could potentially happen again.

Who does ESOS Phase 2 apply to?

All large UK companies must comply by the deadline.  This is defined as:

  • A company that employs 250 or more people
  • A company that has an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro and an annual balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro

What is required for compliance?

Achieving compliance for companies of the above-mentioned size can’t be done without the involvement of a qualified and accredited energy management expert. If a company doesn’t have the capability to assess in-house, an accredited ESOS Lead Assessor needs to be appointed to assist with and look over the gathering of the necessary information to give businesses an overall picture of their energy usage and how it can be improved.

To be compliant, a business must:

  • Measure their total energy usage for buildings and transport
  • Conduct a detailed and comprehensive energy audit to identify key energy users and cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities
  • Report compliance to the Environment Agency (England), NRW (Wales), NIEA (Northern Ireland) or SEPA (Scotland)

It’s hoped that the efficiencies discovered and recommended during the audits, together with the findings of the usage report, will be considerable enough to encourage firms into energy-saving action.

Clearly, ESOS’ purpose is to lead businesses to water, but it’s up to them to drink it. Saving energy, saving the environment, and saving money are all key targets of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.

There are three other ways of achieving automatic compliance, which encompass the above points:

  • Possess, and provide evidence of, an up-to-date and valid Display Energy Certificate (DEC) for all buildings
  • Possess, and provide evidence of, the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems standard
  • Previously completed energy reports can be used in compliance reporting, providing they are to an appropriate standard and still valid

What if a business is found non-compliant?

At first glance, compliance seems very achievable, however at the end of phase one four years ago there were around 3,000 businesses admitting non-compliance, the most common reason for this being unavailability of practitioners to complete their work before the deadline. While it is a doable job, it’s something that is time-consuming and can’t be left to the last minute.

This position can lead to businesses being fined a combined total of £60,000 with an additional combined £1,000 for each further day non-compliant up to 80 days.  A false statement to the agencies can incur a further fine of up to £50,000.

In short, ESOS non-compliance is not an option.

What’s the big deal?

The benefits of the scheme are quite clear – it gives a business a complete picture of its assets’ ost to the business and the environment. It will also be a good indicator of where it could save energy and money, with The Carbon Trust claiming it identified an average of £360,000 per annum of possible efficiency savings for the 200 plus businesses it guided through compliance. It’s all extremely worthwhile, despite being quite an arduous process!


Karsons are building services experts with years of experience in evaluating energy in buildings. We appreciate that every business is different and the requirements to achieve compliance is different and bespoke to you. Through our experience and expertise, we can provide this service in the quickest and most cost-effective means. Furthermore, we go beyond the tick in the box compliance. Our recommendations are based on accurate data, therefore implementing our energy saving initiatives can save you real energy and money. We are going to be flat-out with this work over the next 10 months so book your free consultation asap.


For a free consultation, call or e-mail us to find out more today!