What is ESOS compliance and the ESOS energy audit ?

Qualifying companies and corporate groups containing qualifying companies in the UK, have to notify the Environment Agency of their ESOS Phase 3 compliance by the revised deadline of 05 June 2024.

We provide an overview of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme – ESOS Regulations and guidance on the proposed ESOS Phase 3 changes, compliance, the ESOS audit and associated ESOS reporting.

Why use us for your ESOS compliance and energy audit requirements ?

Peace of mind that your ESOS lead assessor is a CIBSE accredited energy efficiency consultant and registered on the Energy Institutes Register of Energy Efficiency Experts.

Our ESOS lead assessors have extensive experience of conducting energy efficiency audits, identifying and developing practical and cost-effective energy efficiency reduction opportunities.

We pride ourselves in providing a professional and personalised ESOS compliance service in London and across the UK, and our ESOS lead assessor will work with you to determine your ESOS gap analysis, develop a structured approach to suit your business requirements, conduct the ESOS audit and provide you with an ESOS compliance report and evidence pack.

Energy consumption data gathering has proven to be problematic and time consuming during ESOS Phase 1 and Phase 2, and to overcome this and reduce your time and effort associated with this, we will provide you with a user friendly template which centralises and optimises energy consumption data capturing, analysis, benchmarking and reporting for ESOS and SECR, to significantly reduce time and money spent on your ESOS audit and ensure timely ESOS compliance.

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Identifying the key ESOS Phase 3 milestones

The ESOS compliance period for Phase 3 of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, commonly known as the ESOS Phase 3 compliance period lasts for four years and the compliance period was from 06 December 2019 to 05 December 2023. The compliance date was recently extended from 05 December 2023 to 05 June 2024 as the proposed changes are currently passing through Parliament.

The qualification date for ESOS Phase 3 was 31 December 2022, which remains unchanged.

Qualifying organisations need to complete an ESOS audit or an alternative route to compliance and notify the Environment Agency online of compliance by 5 June 2024.

We have provided a summary of the proposed changes to ESOS Phase 3 from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (formerly BEIS) on strengthening ESOS, which can be accessed here Proposed changes to ESOS

You can also access an article on ESOS Phase 3 compliance and best practices here, where we review the lessons learnt from ESOS Phase 1 and Phase 2 and share our thoughts on how to get the most benefit from your ESOS audits and ESOS compliance journey.

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What is the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme – ESOS Regulations

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014 - ESOS Regulations is the UK Governments approach to implement the requirements of Article 8 of the EU's Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU).

ESOS is a mandatory energy audit and energy efficiency identification scheme for large UK undertakings and their corporate groups, with the objective of increasing energy efficiency to improve business profits and competitiveness as well as mitigating climate change.

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What is the ESOS qualification criteria

ESOS Phase 3 applies to large undertakings and groups containing large undertakings in the UK which satisfies at least one of the conditions below on the qualification date of 31 December 2022;

Condition 1 - it employed 250 or more people.

Condition 2 - it had an annual turnover of more than £44 million AND an annual balance sheet of more than £38 million.

The balance sheet totals mean the aggregate of the amounts shown as assets in the balance sheet, before deducting both current and long-term liabilities. Therefore, it's the gross assets and not the net assets.

Please note that an organisation qualifies for ESOS Phase 3 if it satisfied the above qualification criteria for at least two consecutive accounting periods within the compliance period.

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Corporate grouping for ESOS qualification and participation

Where one entity in a corporate group meets the ESOS qualification criteria for a large undertaking, then all the UK entities within that corporate group i.e. those with the same highest UK parent company will need to take part in ESOS.

In the event where there are more than one highest UK parent company, which share the same overseas parent company, then each would form one participant and will notify the Environment Agency separately of compliance and should include all subsidiaries within their respective corporate group.

However, where there is more than one highest UK parent within a corporate group, then the highest UK parent groups can choose to aggregate and comply together under the same notification, whereby each parent company should agree in writing to participate together and copies of said agreements must be kept within the evidence pack.

ESOS Phase 2 was the second compliance period of the ESOS Regulations and ran from 6 Dec 2015 to 5 Dec 2019, and qualification was based on the status of an organisation on 31 Dec 2018, and every four (4) years after that for each subsequent compliance period.

Qualification for ESOS Phase 3 is more than just meeting the qualification criteria on 31 December 2022, and you can access the article here to learn more about the ESOS Phase 3 qualification criteria and to check if your organisation qualifies.

ESOS requires that your total energy consumption over a reference period of twelve (12) consecutive months be calculated and must include the qualification date of 31 December 2022 for ESOS Phase 3, so the earliest reference period for ESOS Compliance Phase 2 would be 1 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022.

It must however be stressed that the actual ESOS audit can be conducted anytime during the ESOS compliance period for the respective Phases, but the reference period for calculating the energy consumption must include the qualification date and end before the compliance date for the respective Phases i.e. include 31 December 2022 and end before 5 December 2023 for ESOS Phase 3.

Total energy consumption

Under ESOS energy, total energy consumption includes all input energy used in buildings, industrial processes and transport.

Routes to compliance

ESOS Phase 3 participants can choose one or more routes to compliance that cover a minimum of 95% of their total energy consumption, as indicated below;

• ISO 50001 certification

• Display Energy Certificates - DEC

• Green Deal Assessments

• ESOS audit

If you choose to comply with ESOS in full or in part using any of the above certifications, then the certificate has to be valid on the compliance date of a compliance period i.e 5 December 2023 for ESOS Phase 3.

If you are thinking about using your ISO 50001 as a route to compliance, then please read our latest article on using the ISO 50001 Energy Management System as an alternative route to ESOS Phase 2 compliance here.

The role of an ESOS Lead Assessor

All lead assessors must be members of an approved ESOS lead assessor register.

Lead assessors can either carry out the ESOS audit themselves or check that the ESOS audit and assessments done by people who are not ESOS lead assessors meet the requirements.

Overall an ESOS lead assessor must review and sign-off the ESOS audit and consider whether it meets the requirements of the scheme.

Notification of ESOS compliance

For ESOS Phase 3, qualifying UK organisations need to report ESOS compliance on-line to their national scheme administrator - the Environment Agency in England, SEPA in Scotland and NIEA in Northern Ireland, by 05 June 2024.

Check out our latest articles

Read through our articles and case studies provided by our team of professionally registered engineers about TM44 Inspection, ESOS compliance, SECR compliance as well as how to improve the energy efficiency, indoor air quality, operation and maintenance of commercial buildings.

Get in Touch for all your ESOS compliance, audit and reporting requirements!

If you would like to speak to us about your ESOS compliance in the UK, then please contact us on 03300 881451