Some 6 months after ESOS became law, has the UK’s flagship energy efficiency scheme made a tangible impact?

We are now half a year past ESOS deadlines. What do recent figures on who has complied show about how effective it has been, and what future impacts might be?

The latest numbers

Around 65% of organisations subject to the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) are now compliant, according to the Environment Agency.

But the critical question surrounds which will embed audit recommendations. From this perspective, things are unclear.

During a well-attended seminar at CIBSE headquarters in Balham, Head of CIBSE Certification, Andrew Geens, said the flaw in ESOS was that it was a four-yearly assessment, which meant organisations might put energy management ‘on the back burner’ for three years in between.

Without polling every ESOS-affected UK firm, there is no way to know whether this view is widespread. Indeed, without similar polling it will be tough to judge overall ESOS progress; there is no requirement to report for another 4 years.

Therefore, the only logical step is to encourage businesses to keep up the momentum on ESOS and act on their audits.

The Carbon Trust viewpoint

The Carbon Trust released feedback from firms it has helped with ESOS auditing in March 2016. The trends illustrate the true scope of the scheme, and why implementation remains absolutely key.

“Many of the companies we have supported were not only new clients for the Carbon Trust, but they were new to energy management in general. This should be seen as one of the real successes of ESOS that differentiates it from other legislation or regulations.”

“Analysis of a sample of the ESOS assessments undertaken by the Carbon Trust shows an average energy spend of around £1.8 million.”

“The average reduction achievable through cost-effective measures was around 20%, which for business with an energy spend of £1.8 million would translate into savings of £360,000.”

“The most common recommendations for improvements were still in lighting, metering and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) plant control. Energy management, lighting, heating and metering again were again popular recommendations, with businesses able to save around 25% on average.”

The wide variety of technology that can help

The Trust’s data shows how crucially sustainable lighting can benefit businesses; and Energys Group’s LED upgrade options aren’t complicated to specify or install. Further, Energys Group intelligent boiler systems can offer typical energy savings of 15% to 30% with payback usually achieved in 1 to 2 years.

With wins like these available, it’s plain that they key business message is; act on ESOS audits. The Trust agrees with this sentiment:

“The real proof of success will be in the rates of actual implementation. We would encourage all ESOS participants to make the most of having to undergo a compliance process and realise the significant cost savings on offer.”

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