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Comply with ESOS: UK Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

All large UK organisations outside the public sector are affected by the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) regulations. Find out how your organisation can go beyond compliance, implement energy efficiency and cut costs now to take advantage of the real opportunities in ESOS.

Energy savings opportunity scheme audit

As a mandatory scheme, all large UK organisations outside the public sector are affected by ESOS. The Carbon Trust provides a complete suite of services to help organisations achieve compliance with the ESOS regulations in a cost-effective and efficient manner and turn energy-saving opportunities into real business advantage.

What is ESOS?

The ESOS Regulations 2014 bring into force Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and mandate that large organisations in the UK undertake comprehensive assessments of energy use and energy efficiency opportunities at least once every four years.

Who is affected?

The criteria for inclusion to ESOS is not entirely straightforward, but essentially it applies to any large undertaking that carries out a trade or a business (most commonly a Company), and any corporate group where at least one member of the UK group meets the ESOS criteria.

  • A large undertaking is one that employs at least 250 people,
  • Or has an annual turnover in excess of €50 million and a balance sheet in excess of €43 million.
  • Most public sector bodies are excluded, but other organisations that receive some public funding, such as universities, may qualify.

ESOS Phase 2

We’re now in Phase 2 of the ESOS compliance scheme. Organisations were required to submit information for Phase 1 of ESOS by 29 January 2016. The regulations require large UK organisations to take three important steps before the compliance date of 5 December 2019:

  1. Measure total energy consumption for buildings, industrial processes and transport
  2. Conduct audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency recommendations for areas of significant energy consumption; and
  3. Report compliance to their national scheme administrator – the Environment Agency in England, SEPA in Scotland, NIEA in Northern Ireland and NRW in Wales.

To comply with the regulations, a Lead Energy Assessor will need to conduct the ESOS Assessment.   In certain cases organisations can comply automatically. The main way to do this is by providing evidence that they have achieved certification to ISO 50001, the international standard for best practice energy management, across their organisation.   

Find out how we can support you with ESOS Phase 2


The Carbon Trust helped us to fully understand our ESOS options, and develop a plan to achieve compliance in the most efficient, cost-effective, value-maximising way.
Garry McDonald, Procurement & Sustainability Director, Miller Homes
ESOS Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

The Carbon Trust Guide to ESOS

We recognise that many companies will need advice on how to comply with ESOS so we have compiled the Carbon Trust Guide to ESOS that provides practical advice and a summary of how the Carbon Trust can help.

The guide (updated October 2017) includes a step by step approach for Phase 2 compliance:

  • ESOS Background and policy aims
  • How will it affect my organisation?
  • How do I comply with the regulations? 
  • What are the benefits of ESOS to my business?
  • How can the Carbon Trust help?
  • ESOS Compliance Planning and Audit Strategy
  • Accessing the real value of ESOS
  • Appendix - Approved registers of lead assessors

Download the guide:

Full guidance on ESOS can be found on the GOV.UK website.


Beyond compliance

Simply complying with the Regulations misses the point of ESOS: to identify opportunities to reduce energy use and to cut consumption, emissions and cost accordingly.  Whilst there is no statutory requirement to take action on these opportunities, not to do so is to reduce ESOS to a costly compliance exercise rather than a means to achieve real savings. There are proven business benefits in addressing energy efficiency. Typically, 20% of a business' annual energy costs are wasted through the use of energy inefficient equipment.

A Guide to implementing Energy Savings Opportunities

The Guide to Implementing Energy Savings Opportunities has been developed to support businesses in implementing the energy saving opportunities identified from ESOS assessments.  Produced in collaboration with the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

It provides an overview of the steps businesses can take to maximise the impact of their ESOS assessment. It will help organisations follow best practice around the implementation of energy saving opportunities. This guide is particularly aimed at smaller ESOS participants, including those who may have less experience in implementing energy savings and/or may not employ a dedicated energy manager. However, the information in this guide may also be helpful to organisations with previous experience of implementing energy saving opportunities. It may also be helpful to organisations that have identified energy saving opportunities independently of ESOS.

Download the guide:

This guide was produced in 2015 by the Carbon Trust on behalf of the UK government’s Department for Energy & Climate Change (now part of the department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy). Information was correct the time of publication.

Get in touch to find out how we can help

We can help you comply with the ESOS regulations and go beyond to take advantage of the business opportunities to be gained from energy efficiency.  Read more on our services to support you with Phase 2 of ESOS


Contact us to find out how we can help you prepare for Phase 2

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