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Green shoots

New ESOS regulations are energy SOS for British business

25 June 2014

Business could save two to three times more than estimates suggest.


The Carbon Trust is calling on British businesses to save billions on their energy bills through implementing the most cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities identified through the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). The new scheme is expected to help reduce energy bills for large enterprises by £300 million in 2016, but the Carbon Trust believes savings could be two to three times higher if business act and implement cost effective measures.

The ESOS regulations will require more than 7,000 large enterprises in the UK to undertake an energy audit at sites that make the majority of the total energy use of the business. This audit will then have to be repeated every four years.

The government estimates that the net benefit of the policy to the UK will be around £1.9 billion between 2015 and 2030. This is based on a conservative prediction that only 6 per cent by value of potential energy saving opportunities identified will be implemented.

But the actual benefits for business, based on Carbon Trust analysis,  are likely to be far greater than estimates suggest, with the actual  savings on energy bills  being some two or three times higher.

The Carbon Trust has provided over 200,000 fully-costed energy saving recommendations to more than 35,000 UK businesses. This experience suggests that around four in ten simple recommendations with quick paybacks are implemented, while around two in ten of the more complex or long-term recommendations are taken forward.

Large businesses can cost-effectively save around 15 per cent from energy bills through efficiency measures, with an average internal rate of return of 48 per cent and payback within three years. In many cases savings can be even higher. It is not uncommon to see reductions of as much as 25 per cent.

These savings can be achieved through readily available and well-established technologies in areas such as lighting and heating, provided that the technology is properly specified and sized, and that the installer is appropriately skilled.


The scheme is a much needed wake up call for businesses that haven’t already benefitted from the significant cost savings that can be achieved through energy efficiency. But identifying the opportunity is only half the battle. If recommendations go unimplemented then businesses will needlessly be paying over the odds on their energy bills.

Myles McCarthy, Director of Implementation at the Carbon Trust

For further information please contact the Carbon Trust press office on 020 7170 7050 or email

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent company with a mission to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. The Carbon Trust:

  • advises businesses, governments and the public sector on opportunities in a sustainable, low-carbon world;
  • measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organisations, products and services;
  • helps develop and deploy low-carbon technologies and solutions, from energy efficiency to renewable power

About ESOS:

The ESOS regulations bring into force Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, with compliance due before 5 December 2015.

ESOS regulations are likely to apply to around 7,300 enterprises, occupying up to 200,000 buildings, including up to 10,000 industrial plants, and accounting for around 35% of the UK’s total energy consumption.

The government’s Impact Assessment suggests there are 43TWh of potential savings with a payback of less than 2 years in the scope of the policy, with an expectation that 2.5 TWh will be implemented.

Carbon Trust guide to ESOS

Will your business be affected by ESOS regulations? Find out what’s required to comply, and how to take advantage of the opportunity in the scheme in our ESOS: UK Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme guide.

© 2016 Carbon Trust
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