ESOS: what have we learned about the current energy efficiency opportunities for large UK businesses?


Over the past year individuals with responsibility for energy use in large UK organisations have had to get familiar with yet another acronym: ESOS, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme. This now sits alongside various other measures known by acronyms such as the CRC, CCL and EUETS, which are also designed to encourage energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.*

The exact numbers are still uncertain, but it is estimated that around 9,000 of the UK’s biggest businesses (and other organisations outside the public sector, such as large charities) have had to comply with the scheme. The initial deadline of 5 December 2015 has come and gone, with the extended grace period now coming to an end.

We know that there are still a significant number of stragglers, who are now facing enforcement action from the Environment Agency. The only exception to this will be those organisations that have confirmed that they expect they will achieve certification to the energy management standard, ISO 50001, by June. On a positive note the majority of the organisations caught up by the regulations have now submitted their compliance packs.

Like many other companies that support organisations with energy efficiency and sustainability, the Carbon Trust’s technical team has been overwhelmed with requests for support with ESOS compliance. We have now helped hundreds of businesses to better understand their energy use, identify cost effective opportunities for reductions, and complete their ESOS evidence packs for submission. So now seems like a good time to share what we have learned from the process.