ESOS Regulation Published

DECC Guide to ESOS
DECC Guide to ESOS

After the formal public consultation period covering July – October 2013, The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014 have finally been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 17 July 2014.

You will recall that the consultation was tracked by this blog with earlier posts: Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme and Mandatory Energy Efficiency Audit Proposals: Deadline Approaches with concerns that about definitions, the potential conflict with other schemes and the use of International Standards, such as ISO 14001:2004 as an alternative to a formal energy audit were significant issues.

Now that the Regulations have been published there are a number of issues for organisations to consider especially the definitions organisations that has varied from the traditional SME definition (see EU SME Definition: User Guide and Model Declaration), the use of International Standards, such as ISO 50001:2011 Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use & the specific requirements for energy audit and reporting.

The first decision is to determine whether your organisation is required to comply with the Regulations.

What organisations must comply with the ESOS?
Based on the situation at “Qualification Date” (initially, Phase 1: 31 December 2014 and subsequently, Phase 2 – 31 December 2018 & Phase 3: 31 December 2022), whether the organisation meets the following criteria:

  • All “large undertakings”
    – More than 250 employees/partners/directors
    – Turnover greater than €50m (about £39.8m)
    Balance sheet assets greater than €43m (about 34.2m)
  • Other members of the corporate group of any such large undertaking
    – Connected via parent / subsidiary relationships
    – Members of same corporate group may participate together (as one) or in subsets or individually

It should be noted that any organisations, such as Local Authorities, Police Authority and a National Park Authority, that are required to comply with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No. 5) or the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (SSI 2012 No. 88) are exempt for the scheme.

At this stage, an early review of the Regulations and associated “Guide to ESOS” published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) points to the following stages to comply with the scheme:

  1. Measure your total energy consumption
    This activity will include building, transport and industrial activities to be monitored and reported over a consecutive 12-month period (Reference Period), which must overlap the Qualification Date (see above) and the end date of the “Reference Period” must occur prior to the “Compliance Date” (initially, Phase 1: 5 December 2014, and subsequently, Phase 2: 5 December 2019 & Phase 3: 5 December 2023).
  2. Conduct energy audits including the identification of cost-effective energy efficiency recommendations
    At least 90% of the total energy consumption must be subject to an ESOS compliant energy audit using at least a “Lead Assessor” qualified by a professional body (“Approval Body”) to the criteria in PAS 51215: 2014 – Energy efficiency assessment. Competence of a lead energy assessor. Specification, a Display Energy Certificate, a Green Deal Assessment or a certified ISO 50001 Energy Management System during each phase of the scheme. Within the first phase of the scheme, any energy auditing activity dating back to December 2011 can be used to support compliance (e.g. the Carbon Trust Standard) provided that it meets the minimum standards required of ESOS Energy Audits.The ESOS Assessment must be conducted or reviewed by a qualified Lead Assessor (the lead assessor may be an in-house expert or external consultant) unless the total energy consumption is already covered by a certified ISO 50001 Energy Management System.
  3. Report compliance to the Environment Agency (as the scheme administrator)
    By 5 December 2015, you will need to notify the Environment Agency (as the scheme administrator) that you have complied with the scheme. Prior to notifying the Environment Agency, you must ensure that your ESOS Assessment has been reviewed by a Board-level Director and approved by a Lead Assessor.

There are further details to the scheme, which I will discuss in later posts.

In the meantime, if you want to find out more about the Scheme by downloading a copy of the Regulations at

To find out how it applies to your specific organisation, please see the further information on the consultation and its outcome & links to the DECC Guide can be found at

In relation to the qualifications for a Lead Assessor, copies of PAS 51215: 2014 – Energy efficiency assessment. Competence of a lead energy assessor. Specification can be obtained from the British Standards Institution (BSI) at

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