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ESOS Environmental ManagementBack


Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and how to comply.

ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for organisations in the UK that meet the qualification criteria. The Environment Agency is the UK scheme administrator.

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.

Deadlines for compliance

By 5 December 2015 qualifying organisations must carry out their ESOS assessment and notify the Environment Agency.

Participants must then carry out an ESOS assessment in each subsequent 4-year compliance period, ending on 5 December 2019, 2023 and so on.

You do not need to register as the Environment Agency does not expect to hear from organisations until 2015 when they are fully compliant.

Check if you need to comply

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.

Your organisations qualify if, on 31 December 2014, it meets the ESOS definition of a large undertaking. Corporate groups qualify if at least one UK group member meets the ESOS definition of a large undertaking.

Large undertaking

A large undertaking is a business/organisation that carries out a trade or business which either:

  • employs at least 250 people
  • employs less than 250 people but has an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro (£38,937,777), and an annual balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro (£33,486,489)

To find out if you qualify take your employee numbers, turnover and balance sheet totals from the accounts for the financial year ending either:

  • on the qualification date of 31 December 2014
  • in the 12 months immediately preceding the qualification date of 31 December 2014

How to comply: completing an ESOS assessment

If you qualify for ESOS and your organisation is fully covered by ISO 50001, you don’t need to carry out an ESOS assessment. You just need to notify the Environment Agency that you are compliant with ESOS.

If you qualify for ESOS, but your organisation is not fully covered by ISO 50001, you need to carry out an ESOS assessment. The assessment helps you work out what your organisation needs to do to comply with the ESOS regulations.

  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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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. You must do this by 5 December 2015, and if applicable, every 4 years afterwards.

  1. 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.

Penalties for non-compliance

Your environmental regulator is responsible for compliance and enforcement activities. The regulator may issue civil sanctions including financial penalties if an organisation does not meet the scheme’s obligations.

Submit your ESOS notification of compliance

The first period in which qualifying organisations must contact the Environment Agency is between 1 January 2015 and 5 December 2015, when you make your notification confirming compliance. You do not need to register as the Environment Agency does not expect to hear from organisations until 2015 when they are fully compliant.

The notification includes details about your organisation and how it has complied. You do not need to provide energy data.

When you access the notification system you will be redirected away from GOV.UK to complete your notification. When you have submitted your notification you will be redirected back to this web page.

Your submission must be as accurate as possible. If the information you submitted is inaccurate, email, quoting the original submission date, the Companies House registration number (if applicable) and the name of the organisation for which you made the notification.

When you are fully compliant submit your notification of compliance.

More information about ESOS

More details on the ESOS scheme, your obligations and how to comply are set out in the full ESOS guidance.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 06/03/2015