ESOS vs SECR: what’s the difference?

ESOS vs SECR: what’s the difference?

"SECR… didn’t we just do that for ESOS?” We’ve heard this phrase from many of our clients who, understandably, are confused between the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR). They are two separate pieces of legislation, with different aims and timeframes. Let’s take a look:

What are they?

At the most basic level, the difference between SECR and ESOS is what they measure; SECR focuses on a company's emissions, whereas ESOS examines energy use.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) is a mandatory UK government framework that replaced the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme in April 2019.  The aim is to simplify the reporting process for companies and reduce emissions from business and industry by 80% by 2050. 

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme is a mandatory piece of EU legislation requiring large companies to submit an energy report to the Environment Agency every four years. An ESOS report analyses a company's energy data over a 12 month consecutive period (which must include the qualification date of 31st December 2018, for Phase 2).

Who they apply to

SECR applies to:

  1. Quoted companies of any size that are required to prepare a Directors’ Report
  2. UK registered, unquoted large companies as defined in the Companies Act 2006. This refers to companies that fulfil at least two of the following three conditions
    in the financial year for which they are reporting:
      •  at least 250 employees
      • an annual turnover of £36m or more and/or
      • an annual balance sheet total greater than £18m

ESOS applies to large companies with:

  • More than 250 employees or
  • an annual turnover in excess of €50 million and an annual balance sheet total in excess of €43 million.

Reporting format

Companies must include SECR in their Directors’ Report. There is no set template for this, however there are reporting guidelines.

ESOS reports must be completed by a qualified ESOS Lead Assessor and submitted to the Environment Agency.


Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting must be included in Directors’ Reports for all financial years starting on or after the 1st April 2019. Therefore the deadline will depend on a company’s financial year.

The first reports are due for the financial year 1st April 2019 – 31st March 2020.

Companies which qualify for ESOS are required to submit an ESOS report to the Environment Agency every four years. ESOS Phase 1 occurred in 2015. The deadline for ESOS Phase 2 was 5th December 2019. The deadline for Phase 3 is 5th December 2023.

Find out more about SECR 

To learn more about SECR and to get a copy of our FREE SECR Complete Guide click here

Article published 7th February 2020

Elmhurst Energy Services Ltd. 16, St Johns Business Park, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 4HB

© Elmhurst Energy Services Ltd 2022. All rights reserved. Elmhurst Energy Services Limited is registered in England, Company Number: 06087105