Organisations must act quickly to get the best out of new legislation that was finalised last week: the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). It’s possible to offset the cost of ESOS compliance by making tangible cost savings, but only if the right action is taken, advises energy reduction specialist NIFES (part of Inenco Group).

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced the latest details of ESOS, a major new mandate that requires large enterprises (non-SMEs) to undertake energy audits to review how energy is used on-site and in transport. There are 7,260 organisations from the private- and third-sectors liable under ESOS. But, with phase 1 already in progress and the scheme now finalised, only those companies that take swift, targeted action will be able to get the best out of ESOS.

Offsetting the cost
ESOS should not be treated as just another carbon tax. Unlike most legislation, it presents an opportunity to make financial savings, by identifying and removing sources of energy waste that drive up energy bills. In any organisation, there are opportunities for fine-tuning, which means the ESOS process can be used to financial advantage.

DECC states that an ESOS audit can identify potential cost savings more than 13.5 times greater than the cost of the audit. These are savings that can translate to a substantial reduction in bottom line costs – but the clock is ticking.

Don’t be fooled by deadlines

The December 2015 deadline for ESOS may seem a long way off, but it’s a mistake to get complacent,” says Anthony Mayall, Managing Director of NIFES. “Act quickly to undertake the audit and implement the energy-saving recommendations and you’ll see in-year benefit, making the process at least budget-neutral.”

“Companies that wait until just before the deadline risk overpaying for their ESOS audit or failing to comply on time,” he adds. “With 7,260 scheme participants and only approximately 500 qualified, good-quality professionals (lead auditors must be  accredited by a recognised body) able to carry out ESOS audits, there’s likely to be high demand close to the deadline.”

Selecting an ESOS partner
NIFES, part of Inenco Group, is one of the UK’s leading energy consultancies and provides an end-to-end solution for energy reduction. With its team of well-qualified energy assessors, highly-experienced in the demands of a range of sectors, it is able to take ESOS participants beyond simple compliance, in order to unlock immediate and sustained cost savings.

“Remember: getting the right level of support is critical,” advises Anthony Mayall of NIFES. “ESOS affects each sector differently, so sector experience and a proven track record are crucial when selecting a partner. ESOS auditing isn’t a job for just anyone – your lead auditor should be a Chartered Energy Manager who has worked in this field for a long time.”

As part of our commitment to helping ESOS participants to understand the intricacies of this new legislation, we’ve created an independent ESOS Hub,” says Anthony Mayall of NIFES. “This online resource contains information divided up by sector and according to job title, allowing everyone affected by ESOS to get to grips with the scheme.”