ESOS - the last guidance ahead of Phase 2 qualification date

ESOS - the last guidance ahead of Phase 2 qualification date

The ESOS regulatory bodies have released their latest ESOS Newsletter, which is welcomed by Elmhurst Energy Consultancy as the last newsletter that will be issued ahead of the Phase 2 qualification date at the end of this month. In previous editions of the newsletter, the regulatory bodies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on the levels of non-compliance for Phase 1 of the scheme, as well as naming and shaming those companies who did not meet compliance, alongside details of the fines enforced upon them. In the latest newsletter, the regulatory bodies have now listed the main reasons for non–compliance, based on the results of the 176 audits they have completed this year on the Phase 1 reports, and the trends have largely been the same since audits began in 2016. In anticipation for Phase 2, we have listed the reasons for non – compliance below, alongside our tips to ensure your organisation are compliant.

1. Audits did not meet the minimum criteria stated by regulations

What can you do?

  • Ensure you carefully select an experienced ESOS Lead Assessor who is well briefed on the minimum criteria, and who can advise you from the early stages of what is expected.
  • Read through the regulations to ensure you have an organisational understanding of what you are expected to complete as at least a minimum standard approach. This will make it easier to liaise with the ESOS Lead Assessor to discuss information needed and the approach that should be taken, to ensure compliance is achieved in the most efficient and cost – effective way.

2. Lead Assessor / Board Director Sign Off missing

What can you do?

  • Where possible, involve the directors from the start so they understand the reason why your organisation need to comply, how the capital cost of investing in the scheme will be regained if recommendations are implemented, and the likely timescale to completing the audit.
  • Directors should be made aware from the initial outset that their sign off will be required before notification of compliance can be made to the relevant regulatory body. An experienced ESOS Lead Assessor should state this during the scoping meeting.

3. Sampling approach was not representative of significant energy consumption

What can you do?

  • It is very important for organisations to have as much information, including data and sources of energy use as early as possible into the audit process. This allows ESOS Lead Assessors to discuss where the significant energy consumption is being used, and whether any usage can be discounted under ‘de minimis’.
  • Organisations should then liaise with ESOS Lead Assessors to determine an appropriate sampling approach, or alternative route to compliance. It would be beneficial for organisations to read the guidance on the several options for routes to compliance, including ISO50001, Display Energy Certificates or BS EN 16247, to determine what the organisation would benefit most from because, Elmhurst would like to reinforce that ESOS is the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme, so it should be viewed as exactly that – an opportunity to save expenditure on energy.

4. Organisations moved premises between qualification date and compliance date so considered there to be no need for an audit

What can you do?

  • If your organisation moves premises between the qualification date and the compliance date, so for phase 2, between 31st December 2018 – 5th December 2019, this does not mean the energy use is excluded from the audit.
  • The approach taken will be that your organisation will include in your total energy consumption calculation, the energy used for the activities that are carried out in the original building and are being moved to the new building (such as use of computers, copiers, manufacturing processes, etc), where measured or able to be reasonably estimated, but not energy uses associated with the buildings themselves (such as heating, ventilation air conditioning, lifts, etc). You will need to include the energy used in the building in your total energy consumption calculation even if the building is unoccupied on the qualification date.
  • An experienced ESOS Lead Assessor will be able to talk this through with you, and extrapolate the relevant data for your audit.

5. Process and transport consumption omitted even if part of significant energy consumption

What can you do?

  • Try to measure all energy use through process and transport from the earliest possible date to ensure a full and accurate data set is available. This will make the audit of your energy use more accurate, meaning more appropriate and beneficial recommendations will be made by the Lead Assessor. Where data is missing, this cannot be omitted from the audit, it will just mean the Lead Assessor will have to estimate based on reasonable assumptions, of which they will justify in the evidence pack alongside your notification submission
  • Your organisation may have a new, and very efficient building so this means the majority of recommendations will likely concern the process energy use or transport (if applicable) so it is important that data is gathered and included for this.

The regulatory bodies have issued their findings in advance of the qualification date for phase 2 to make organisations aware of the main things that will be monitored when auditing the reports that will be submitted over the next 12 months. The levels of late submission, no submission, and non-compliance for Phase 1 were discouraging so it is down to organisations partaking in ESOS Phase 2 and beyond, as well as the ESOS Lead Assessors and Consultants to ensure they conform to at least the minimum standards, and where possible, go beyond the minimum standards to ensure the targets of reducing organisational energy use are met, and to ensure organisations investing in ESOS are gaining as much financial benefit as possible through energy savings.

Elmhurst Energy Consultancy are ready to assist in you Phase 2 compliance journey so please check the ESOS section of our website, or call us on 01455 883 259 to find out how we can help.


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