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Date: 2024-05-27 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00005457

Energy efficiency

UK ... The Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme, or ESOS ... ESOS has joined the party, but who’s noticed?


Peter Burgess

ESOS has joined the party, but who’s noticed?

The Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme, or ESOS for short, is the UK Government’s approach to implementing Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).

I am sure that most reading this are well aware of the EU EED and the historical context leading up to its launch December last year. However, for those whose eyes can only comprehend a string of vowels with a trailing consonant that would leave the most proficient Countdown contestant scrambled, I would recommend visiting this area of the internet which gives a comprehensive, but easy to process guide to the implementation of the aforementioned directive.

In essence, and for the purposes of progress with the crux of this post, the EU EED is as close as the EU has come to formulating a European-wide energy efficiency strategy which is reinforced by legislation. Its main aim being to reignite the 20%-20%-20% 2020 targets (which sounds all too convenient for calculated figures) relating to climate change and energy, the method of which is encapsulated by the diagram below.

So here is our Government’s response: ESOS Consultation Document.

Yes, the ESOS is the new legislation to the party, and he’s hoping to fit right-in at legislation house. But amidst the negative attention being awarded to the ‘in full-swing’ Green Deal, and the gossip of the ‘all dolled up’ MER, has ESOS been left somewhat in the corner, unnoticed or ignored?

Drawn out metaphors aside, the media and indeed industry attention to ESOS and the consultation document, released 11th July this year, seem to be relatively low key, colloquially speaking. But this is an important movement, not just for the fact that come 2014, it could be a law under which large enterprise are held accountable. As such, we should be witnessing industry-wide discussions to ensure the ESOS adequately addresses the requirements (and ‘spirit’) of the EU EED, let alone that of ourselves.

That’s not to say that this is not taking place; I attended a UKGBC roundtable on the subject just last week. Rather, I would expect to see more of a wave than a ripple.

'So be you a finance director, an energy manger, professional auditor, consultant, or indeed an environmental manager, this impacts you.'

So what is it?

As mentioned, it is in direct response to Article 8 of the EU EED, which looks at energy audits and energy management systems (EMS) with particular address to the requirement for all non-SMEs to be subject to an energy audit (legislatively) by 5th December 2015 and at least every four years thereafter. Refer to the diagram to see how this fits in to the wider picture of the EU EED.

If this comes to fruition, which it will need to do in some format realistically before 2015, it will see approved assessors carrying out Article 8 compliant audits of ‘large enterprises’ to offer ‘reliable identification of the most significant opportunities for improvement’. This is no small feat, and won’t be accomplished by an overworked environmental manager (‘team’) playing with spreadsheets while the remainder of the organisation remains oblivious.

So be you a finance director, an energy manger, professional auditor, consultant, or indeed an environmental manager, this impacts you! I would therefore urge anybody and everybody to provide feedback to the DECC or partake in discussion regarding the topic, be it from a personal or commercial standpoint. The ESOS consultation period is still live, with the DECC accepting feedback both through specific questions and general comments before the 4th October (next month).

Before that time is out, stay tuned to hear my opinions on ESOS, where I will be answering three fundamental questions:

  • How well does the ESOS fulfil the requirements (and ‘spirit’) of the EU EED?
  • How effective is the ESOS at generating benefits and driving action within large enterprises (and SMEs on a voluntary basis)?
  • How practical is the ESOS and does it have functional scalability?
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