As a continuing commitment of the United Kingdom’s Environment Agencies to keep ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) stakeholders informed of the regulatory and procedural process, they have published their first newsletter for 2019.
The Newsletter published jointly by the Environment Agencies for the UK, namely, the Environment Agency (England), Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, covers four current topical issues:
1. New ESOS Notification System – coming soon
The new notification system of Phase 2 of ESOS will be available soon & the Environment Agencies will update when it is available.
The reason for a new Notification System is that it is required to replace the existing Phase 1 notification system, which has now been closed.
2. New Phase 2 Guidance
A revised ESOS guidance document (now, at Version 6) has now been published & is available here.The latest version has been updated to reflect the changed timings for the second compliance period (referred to as Phase 2) as well as including some additional clarification on the definitions of large undertakings, exempt organisations and calculating energy values.
Additionally, the ESOS web pages have been updated to reflect these changes. Although it is important to note that the differences for organisations between the first and second compliance periods are minimal and for the most part non-technical.
3. Clarification of Technical Terms
The latest newsletter clarifies four technical terms for ESOS Participants:
Total Energy Consumption
The calculation of “Total Energy Consumption” is the first step of an ESOS energy assessment, which takes into account all the input energy use by an organisation within the UK and UK waters including but not limited to buildings, industrial processes and transport.
The energy used needs to be calculated in a consistent unit which can either be an energy unit such as kWh or in pounds sterling. However, CO2 units are not considered to be an appropriate energy unit.
Significant Energy Consumption
Following the calculation of the “Total Energy Consumption”, it is important to identify assets and activities that amount to at least 90% of your Total Energy Consumption.
These will be your areas of Significant Energy Consumption which will need to be audited or covered by alternative routes of Compliance. It is suggested that you choose the energy from your large undertakings to be audited and select smaller energy supplies or undertakings as your 10% de minimis.
Low Energy Users
In some cases, organisations who qualify for ESOS may fall under the category of a “Low Energy User” and are, therefore, classed as having a Total Energy Consumption at a domestic level of 40,000 kWh or less.
Under these circumstances, the organisation will not need to produce a fully compliant energy audit or achieve an alternative route to compliance OR complete a lead assessor review.
However, the organisation will need to:
- Consider and document opportunities to reduce energy consumption
- Get director sign off for the report and to confirm that they are a low energy user
- Notify the Agency by the compliance deadline
- Confirm your energy use is at a domestic level or lower, via the Phase 2 ESOS Notification Portal
- Record their compliance approach in an evidence pack
Zero Energy Users
Any organisation that has zero energy supplies (for example, an organisation which exceeds the financial thresholds to participate in the scheme but have no physical assets or employees using energy) does not need to appoint a lead assessor in order to complete a notification of compliance.
However, the organisation will need to:
- Get a board level director to confirm that although your organisation qualifies for the scheme, they agree that it has no energy responsibility
- Make a notification to the Environment via the Phase 2 ESOS Notification Portal to specify that this is the case.
4. Phase 1 compliance audits continue
The Environment Agencies have carried out about 470 Phase 1 compliance audits, these ensure that Participants are meeting the requirements of the Regulations.
Additional samples will be taken to maximise the compliance audits across the 7,000+ Participant population. It is intended to continue with auditing of Phase 1 audits will continue over the coming months.
Phase 1 Participants are advised to ensure that their ESOS Assessment / Evidence Pack is readily accessible in case they are selected. The Agency’s compliance audits may require that you undertake ‘further actions’ to ensure that your ESOS assessment meets with the legal standard.
If you are selected for a Phase 1 compliance audit, but your Phase 2 ESOS assessment is near completion, then you are requested to respond to the audit selection e-mail advising them of your position, as they may audit your Phase 2 ESOS assessment instead.
If your organization is obligated under these new Regulations then you may want to download the latest ESOS Newsletter can be downloaded here
If you are looking for a guide through the complexities of the ESOS compliance obligations & to undertake your ESOS Assessment including the Energy Audit, I have considerable experience as a qualified IEMA ESOS Lead Energy Assessor & welcome your early contact.