The Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) has been launched by DECC (26 June). It affects all businesses that are larger than SMEs; greater than 250 staff, a turnover of £42.5m and a balance sheet of more than £36m; and requires them to conduct a manatory audit by December 2015 and every four years thereafter.
A recent ESTA conference chaired by Tim McManan-Smith provided a number of contrasting views on the subject.
Many agreed that it would at the very least raise the profile of energy saving among larger organisations and get the attention of the board. Lisa Gingell, t-mac Technologies director and ESTS board member, commented: “In essence, the legislation is beneficial in the fact that it puts more audits in place, which will in effect raise awareness within business of opportunities for energy improvements.
“However, where we believe ESOS is lacking is in its efforts to influence businesses go to the next level. Encouragement to physically implement the proposed solutions and changes isn’t part of the legislation. A lack of “full-circle” energy thinking to get businesses to act on the data collected and make the change to see the savings in energy costs and carbon emissions is where ESOS may fail to make an impact.”
It was pointed out by some delegates that although there is no explicit requirement to enact any of the measures created by mandatory auditing it does have to feature within annual reports and therefore progress can be monitored via these. In effect it would look bad if a company were moving backwards or making little progress.
Water Energy & Environment has surveyed views of energy efficiency in general with a particular look at attitudes to ESOS and ISO50001. To get a copy go to theenergyst.com