Winter 2018/19 could prove a challenging time for medium and large energy consuming businesses. The cold, dark days looming before us will combine with persistently bullish energy market conditions and higher network costs to create a budget-stretching winter season. These price pressures are likely to be an ongoing theme that impacts businesses on both sides of their bill and well into next year: 2019 promises more energy budget uncertainty, with increases to the Climate Change Levy for some organisations adding to the cost impact of any currency fluctuation caused by Brexit negotiations.
Amongst all this uncertainty, businesses would be well advised to take a positive and structured approach to mitigating the rising cost of energy. Now is the time to push energy to the top of the priority list and maximise on every cost-saving opportunity available.
Providing structure through ESOS
ESOS is not just a reporting obligation – it’s also intended to provide businesses with an opportunity to identify energy savings, but many businesses are yet to make the most of their efficiency recommendations.
After a period of general confusion about reporting requirements (followed by a race to comply in December 2015 and much discussion about enforcement action) most were simply relieved to have compliance under their belt, so they put their collated findings to one side and pressed on with other business priorities. While a small percentage of businesses acted upon the recommendations identified by their ESOS audits, a surprising majority decided that they lacked the time to focus on implementation, or the funds to invest in upgraded equipment or new technology.
However, since ESOS Phase 1 concluded, business energy costs have risen by around 25%. New forecasts published by Inenco in its recent Energy Costs Outlook report indicated that this figure could rise by up to 50% by 2020, driven both by wholesale costs and an increase in non-commodity charges. In this environment, ESOS Phase 2 represents a valuable and timely savings opportunity.
Easy efficiency wins
For those businesses that chose not to act on their Phase 1 findings, the good news is that there could still be a plethora of ‘easy wins’ awaiting discovery and action; ranging from behavioural changes to lost-cost technology. For those that have already taken some action and are looking to push efficiency measures to the next level, ESOS Phase 2 will provide the structure and focus needed to get ideas in front of senior management teams and to roll out efficiency measures that can make a tangible difference to the bottom line. With planning and foresight, the obligation of compliance becomes an opportunity not to be missed.
At Inenco, we have a range of solutions aimed at guiding businesses through ESOS compliance and beyond; to help organisations drive efficiencies, reduce consumption and realise cost savings from their ESOS obligations. To find out more about how your business can take advantage of the ESOS opportunity, visit www.inenco.com/esos.