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What is the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme?

Introduced in 2014, the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) has helped drive change in the energy industry over the past few years. Brought in as part of Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme is designed to help businesses understand more about their energy usage, and to be able to enact changes accordingly.

The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme can be complex to understand, so throughout the course of this article we are going to go through ESOS in more detail to help answer your questions about what it is, whether you need to comply with ESOS and, if you do, how you can do so.

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What is the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme?

A mandate designed to encourage active changes based on energy consumption, the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme is, as mentioned above, ultimately a scheme designed to help businesses identify areas for change based on their current energy usage. That being said, it does go beyond that.

ESOS is a legal mandate that requires UK businesses to undergo an audit every four years to understand their energy usage in detail. The audit has to take into consideration 90% of the energy consumption of the business and identify areas of significant consumption. The audit needs take a full 12 month period into account.

The idea behind the ESOS is to allow for companies to not only identify areas of heavy usage, but also to be able to identify and enact improvements based on their understood energy usage. The ESOS is currently regulated by the UK Environment Agency in England, Scotland and Wales.

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Who does ESOS apply to?

The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme is designed with large businesses in mind; however, there are a few exceptions and different criteria. The first criteria is that, if a company has 250 (or more) employees before December 31st the year before their audit is due, then they must complete an Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme audit. If you are a part of an international organisation then, in order to qualify for ESOS, you must have 250 (or more) employees permanently based in the UK.

Interestingly, the above rules are also relevant if you are a part of a larger organisation that falls into the above category of having 250 (or more) employees. So, if you run a small business, who happen to be a part of a much larger organisation, you will still need to be ESOS compliant.

The second criteria is to do with turnover. Whether you have 250 (or more) employees or not, if your turnover is over €50 million (approximately £43.2m) or your balance sheet exceeds €43 million (approximately £37.1m) then you still need to adhere to the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme. Again, if you are a part of a larger organisation who adheres to the above then you still need to be ESOS compliant.


How regularly do you need to conduct an ESOS audit?

An ESOS audit needs to be conducted every four years if the criteria are met by December 31st the year before the audit. Failing to conduct the audit, if you meet the criteria, can result in a fine of £50,000 and/or £500 per day until compliant.


What does an Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme audit need to include?

There are three core components to an ESOS audit that must be completed.

Firstly, an Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme audit must contain 12 months of verifiable data that adhere under certain conditions. Those criteria include:

  • The 12 months of data must be one continuous period.
  • The 12 months of data must begin no earlier than 24 months before the start date of the audit.
  • The 12 months of data can’t have been used for a previous energy audit. It must be a different 12 months.

Secondly, the audit needs to analyse the data of your organisation’s energy consumption and energy efficiency. To do this, a method known as energy consumption profiling must be used to fully understand energy usage.

Thirdly, the audit needs to identify energy saving opportunities. The whole goal of the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme is to help organisations identify areas they can improve upon to help save energy. Saving energy is not only beneficial for the environment, but it is also often beneficial from a cost saving perspective.


Findings off the back of an ESOS audit

The ESOS audit is used to highlight potential energy saving opportunities, so that improvements can be made moving forward. That being said, where the ESOS audit is mandated, the suggested opportunities off the back of the ESOS audit are not. This means that it is possible for an organisation to define their own roadmap for improving their energy profile over time.


How can Utility Team help with your ESOS audit?

At Utility Team, we work alongside the environment agency to best support businesses who have complied and filed an ESOS audit or ESOS phase 2. The ESOS audit is used in order to identify opportunities for growth and improvement within your energy usage. At Utility Team we are able to help you both before and after your audit in order to bring your audit to life.

Prior to your official ESOS survey, our specialists are able to conduct an in-depth audit in order to highlight potential areas for growth. This allows for you to address any issues prior to the ESOS audit.

Following your audit, you are going to want to develop a strategy for reducing your overall energy consumption, and this is another place where we can help. Not only can we help you develop the best way to enact change within your business, but we can aid with the funding of changes via our Revolving Green Fund.

What is the Revolving Green Fund?

The Revolving Green Fund is a way of ensuring that you have the CAPEX required to fund any big-ticket, high-impact energy saving projects. With numerous benefits, the Revolving Green Fund is an upfront, interest free cash injection that gets incorporated into your bills, to allow for you to pay for the projects you need to fund. Those projects can help to drive real growth and impact how your company consumes energy moving forward.


ESOS, Utility Team, and the Revolving Green Fund

Whatever the outcome, the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme is not an audit that needs to be feared. Able to highlight and help drive significant growth, the ESOS is a mandatory audit that can help you identify places for where energy savings can be found. At Utility Team, and with the Revolving Green Fund, we are able to help you action those changes so that you can start your journey to creating a net zero organisation.

You can find out more about the Revolving Green Fund here.




Bringing your ESOS to life with Utility Team!

Prior to your official ESOS survey, our specialists are able to conduct an in-depth audit in order to highlight potential areas for growth. 

Get in touch today! 

Our Clients


Utilising the Revolving Green Fund : Rascal Confectionery

  • Energy consumption reduced by 30%

  • Revolving Green Fund secured for £50k

  • Long term gas and energy procurement

  • Relationship spanning 15 years

Read The Full Case Study

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