The UK government established and introduced ESOS in order to implement Article 8 (4-6) of the EU Energy Directive 2012/27/EU. ESOS is a mandatory assessment aimed at organisations who in the UK: employ more than 250 members of staff; have a turnover that exceeds €50m; a balance sheet exceeding €43m; or are part of a corporate group containing a large enterprise.
As part of the scheme, all qualifying organisations must undertake an energy audit once every four years. The audit will include an estimate of total energy consumption, covering all aspects of a business. Areas targeted must cover 90% of energy consumption – these areas usually include buildings, processes and transport. Organisations must also establish areas of energy consumption and recommend areas in which energy efficiency can be improved. The report must then be signed off at director level, before being issued to the Environment Agency.
How can ISO 50001 help?
ISO 50001, the global energy management systems standard, specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving an Energy Management Systems (EnMS). It helps organisations get to grips with their energy usage, determine how to reduce their environmental impact and ultimately improve their bottom line.
In August 2018, the international standard was updated to ISO 50001:2018, and contains important if not ground- breaking updates, notably:
- The standard integrates better with other ISO management systems
- More focus on the identification of risks and opportunities with regard to energy performance
As well as helping businesses comply with ESOS, ISO 50001 is a governance process – it demonstrates that a business has a process to continually review the energy performance within the organisation. This means management is required to do specific tasks to review it, to comment on it, improve on it and locate the appropriate resources to achieve it.
Why seek ISO 50001 certification?
- Win more business – more and more tenders require suppliers to be ISO 50001 certified
- Reduce costs – ISO 50001 certified organisations report significant savings in energy consumption
- Comply with regulations – ISO 50001 certification can help with ESOS compliance
- Enhance environmental credentials – through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint
Ultimately, the end gain is about getting management to look at opportunities and to make a decision based on credible calculated recommendations rather than finger in the air recommendations.
The deadline for ESOS phase two is fast approaching. If businesses fail to meet the 5 December 2019 deadline they could be subject to fines by the Environment Agency. Fines for non-compliance with the mandatory ESOS range from £5,000 to £90,000 and non-compliant companies may also run the risk of being named and shamed.
Read more on ISO 50001 certification.