ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) lack of Lead Assessors

ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) lack of Lead Assessors – don’t worry says Alpine Facilities, we have it sorted

A number of companies will already have their energy use audited under schemes such as ISO50001, which is likely to bring this ratio down.

However some industry figures are sceptical all firms will get ESOS compliant in time for the deadline, 31 December 2015.

On Friday, Chief Commercial Officer at energy consultancy Inenco, Dave Cockshott warned of “a significant risk that demand for assessors with expert sector knowledge could outstrip the numbers currently available”. Alpine think this is incorrect, the lead Assessor role is being overstated, it’s the building survey issue that will cause delays due to inaction.

The Environment Agency admitted the scheme is working on “tight timescales”.

It said the number of auditors will “increase rapidly” as registers make sure “existing and new members have the opportunity to be progressed as soon as possible”. These registers were announced this week.

There is a pool of more than 2,000 people who are existing members of the organisations who could be Lead Assessors, added the Environment Agency: “This will also go a long way towards providing a good supply of lead assessors to the market.”

Despite the low numbers, it said “[we] do not feel there will be a need to incentivise people to become lead assessors”.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it is also confident there will be enough auditors, and Alpine Facilities concur.

A spokesperson said: “We are working towards 1,500 trained ESOS assessors and the Environment Agency have indicated that interest is already high.

“We expect ESOS to lead to £1.6bn of benefits to the UK and energy savings worth £250m per year for participants.”

Any eligible firms without an ESOS approved audit after this date face penalties mounting to £90,000 – a basic fine of up to £50,000.00 fine plus £500.00 per day for each day of non-compliance up to £40,000.00.

Asked if it would be unfair for a firm to be fined if it struggled to find an auditor, the Environment Agency stated; “Companies can carry out much of the work themselves” and lead assessors “as a minimum need to sign off the work undertaken by others so there is nothing to stop participants starting to comply with ESOS in the absence of an approved lead assessor.” Alpine are already working on the buildings strand of ESOS and envisage the Lead Assessor merely being the final cog in the wheel, the person to sign off work prepared largely by others.

How do I find a suitable ESOS Lead Assessor.

As at September 2014 none are properly qualified, despite what is being touted around the internet, the training courses are not fully set yet and the TM (Technical Manual) has not been released by the Environment Agency, so the courses cannot know the detail of what is required. Talk to Mike Smith at Alpine and we will give you facts and proposed dates for launch.

Who’s going to carry out my ESOS audit?

You can either use an external consultant or appoint an in-house staff member to do the job. At Alpine we do not mind either way. We are a high volume surveying company and will happily undertake data gathering using our bespoke SiteSmart App, undertake Energy Audits on buildings, or our suggested low cost route, DEC audits for ESOS.

Do ESOS auditors need to be accredited?

Your Lead Assessor or Lead Auditor must be accredited through a professional body, no-one is yet accredited at September 2014, and is unlikely to be accredited until November or December. This does not stop a company starting preparation though. Our mantra is to not over complicate what is a straightforward exercise. If you are caught by ESOS you must have a Lead Assessor to undertake various roles in relation to your ESOS Assessment. The exception to this is where a participant has an ISO50001 certified Energy Management System meeting the criteria outlined in DECC’s ESOS Guide. We can send you a copy of the latest guidance, just mail us. Lead Assessors/Auditors must belong to a register of energy professionals approved by the Environment Agency. This is not yet published.

Is it better to go with a consultant or keep it in-house?

If you have an energy team, much of the background work can be done in house, particularly in gathering power consumption and invoice data, transport consumption etc. There is then the building surveys, the best way of keeping costs down is to commission Alpine to undertake ESOS DECS, and this can be started now. CIBSE are suggesting that sampling of buildings will be allowed, but this is not stated in the Statutory Instrument which governs the legislation, and is therefore untested at this time. An answer on sampling with ESOS will only be forthcoming when the Environment Agency issue its TM (Technical Manual).

Alpine Facilities can supply a Lead Assessor to guide you, yet leave your team to undertake much of the background work, or simply keep the Lead Assessor role in house and we will do the building surveys.

I just want to comply, our Energy Team are perfectly capable of dealing with minimising energy use – what’s the least cost route?

Lots of companies and consultancies out there are making this whole ESOS legislation complicated. Alpine are all about making things simple. If you are satisfied that you are doing all that you can already, talk to us about stripping this legislation down to managing the process, making the most of the data which will be gathered, but using ESOS as just another part of your energy saving strategy.

Can Alpine Facilities provide any added value?

Absolutely, we have multi-discipline qualified surveyors who can undertake TM44 Air Conditioning Assessments, EPCs, F Gas Registers and data gathering for Energy Assessments whilst they are in a building doing ESOS DECs, call us for more advice on making the use of being in a building with a qualified Assessor.

Large organisations – prepare yourself for a stack of energy policies which only seems to lengthen – the new ESOS scheme is about to bite!

DECS, CRC, EU ETS, CCAs, TM44s, Energy Act 2018 and now ESOS – that’s a lot of Legislation to get your head round!

Each of these schemes calls for an understanding of energy consumption in some form or other. But with ISO 50001 being recognised internationally as the best practice method for managing energy, having a certified EnMS will put you in a great position to comply with these and any other future schemes. Its expensive though, and on-going. Alpine Facilities cuts through all that complex stuff to make things simple, reports Jack Davies.

The latest of these schemes, launched in June this year, is the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme or ESOS – and the first compliance date is 5th December 2015. The Environment Agency has just launched its September 2014 guidance notes, and the fines are tough!

What does it demand?

Every big enterprise in Britain (with 250+ employees or an annual turnover in excess of €50 million and a balance sheet in excess of €43 million) has to get an energy audit of their buildings, industrial processes and transport once every four years by law. ISO 50001 is a recognised compliance route for the newly launched Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, say some people, Alpine Facilities say that unless you are already on this route, forget it and go down the DEC ESOS and Lead Assessor route.

With ESOS, there is no requirement to actually act on any of the recommendations in the energy audits. One of the benefits of using ISO 50001 to comply with ESOS is that it helps Organisations to develop a framework to implement the most appropriate energy savings measures identified in the energy audits, and start to make real energy and cost savings, but it’s a long term and expensive commitment.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced the results of its consultation for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)

Alpine can report that on 27th June, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced the results of its consultation for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which includes using registered lead energy assessors, which Alpine can provide. ESOS is the UK’s way to implement Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, and introduces mandatory energy audits for non-SMEs. ESOS is expected to result in cost benefits of £1.6bn to the 9,400 participating businesses.

The ESOS Regulations, which were laid in parliament on 26th June 2014 require that the lead ESOS energy assessors be sourced from existing schemes with set qualifications. This applies to all non-SMEs that are not public bodies, and covers energy used in buildings, transport and industrial processes.

All participants must produce results for an ESOS-compliant assessment by December 5th 2015 and will continue the scheme in four year phases. Existing energy management assessments such as ISO50001, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) with Advisory Reports and Green Deal Assessments can provide compliance or part compliance. Unless you have a certified ISO50001 energy management system that covers your whole organisation, or the group of organisations with whom you are participating, you will also need a lead auditor to review your overall compliance with ESOS. Alpine Facilities can provide the services and Consultancy to cover off the requirement.

Alpine’s nominated Assessors are independent and include mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements to ensure that their competence, skills and knowledge are current, as required for ESOS.

The timetable, regulations and associated guidance is now available via www.gov.uk/esos……. The Environment Agency will administer ESOS alongside their role managing the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).

ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme) Update

We at Alpine Facilities have previously made our clients aware of potentially significant legislation changes with regard to energy monitoring and use, the ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme 2015). This piece of legislation is gathering pace fast, and this short news update follows latest ESOS developments;

We also provide below a commentary on potential issues and concerns on implementation, in addition to our TM44 and EPC work, all of which is starting to become connected. Green Deal Assessments on commercial buildings will also affect the enterprises caught by ESOS. We can undertake Green Deal Assessments for commercial buildings if required.

At this stage the legislation remains in consultation and so requirements and implementation are likely to change prior to formalisation later in 2014, but ESOS will catch up with Companies fast.

The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) launched for consultation by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in late July 2013, and will catch all businesses with more than 250 employees. It will obligate the Company/Enterprise to commission an ‘Approved’ assessor either in-house or externally to carry out comprehensive audits of all their energy usage, including transport, every four years. At Alpine Facilities we have found over many years that the most cost effective approach is to outsource the data gathering and report compilation.

The consultation closed on 3 October 2013 and Alpine are tracking DECC, who are in charge of the ESOS legislation, and will update interested organisations through the Alpine news section on their website.

What is ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme)

Properties in the United Kingdom are already subject to a number of compliance, auditing and inspection requirements covering issues such as TM44 Air Conditioning Inspections, EPCs, DECs, F Gas testing, logs and registers. It now appears that energy will be the next major audit requirement for UK property owners, although this has been partly dealt with under GHG legislation.

Over the next 18 months years, the government will introduce ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme). The Scheme is a compulsory programme of regular energy audits for ‘large enterprises’ that are to be undertaken by 5 December 2015. Following the undertaking of the audit, companies will then have to assess their overall position on energy consumption. The requirement derives from the EU Energy Efficiency Directive that came into force on 14 th November 2012; this update identifies the key features of the directive and the government’s proposed light-touch approach to its implementation. This light touch is gradually changing, as is the earlier EPBD (European Performance of Building Directive).

The EU Directive (ESOS element – Article 8)

The key requirement under ESOS can be found in Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. In short, EU member states must introduce independent and cost-effective energy audits for all ‘large enterprises’. An ‘enterprise’ is defined as “any entity engaged in economic activity, irrespective of its legal form”. This will extend beyond companies and include partnerships and unincorporated associations, among other entities.

‘Large enterprises’ are defined as any non-small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) and is therefore any enterprises that have:

  • 250 employees or more; and
  • an annual turnover exceeding €50 million or an annual balance sheet total exceeding €43 million.

The Public Sector is not required to participate.

According to DECC, the audits would cost in the region of £17,000 on average in the first instance and £10,000 for each subsequent audit, which will substantially improve the business case for a dedicated energy manager. Although each audit will result in a set of energy saving recommendations, the business is not obliged to follow them up. DECC estimates that ESOS could save each business an average of £56,400 per year with £17,000 of investment; whether this the case is yet to be seen.

However the scheme overlaps with other existing energy efficiency legislation, and places yet more administrative pressure on energy managers. Of the 7,300 businesses expected to fall into ESOS, up to 6,000 are set to be already in the CRC Carbon Reduction Scheme, as well as mandatory carbon reporting. This potentially means a “get-out” for those businesses. Alpine can advise further in this.

Proposed implementation of the EU Directive (ESOS)

The government considers that the United Kingdom has already made considerable advances in energy efficiency through a number of measures, such as the Green Deal (even though it has largely failed), FITs (Feed In Tariffs), ECO measures, EPCs, DECs and TM44 Assessments. The government also recognises that ESOS will have many similarities with a number of existing UK policies, such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, climate change agreements and mandatory greenhouse gas reporting (through the GHG Regulations and Ozone Regulations).

Therefore, the government is proposing that enterprises be allowed to make full use of any data from other schemes as part of their ESOS assessments. Further proposals regarding the interaction of ESOS with existing UK regulations or best practice include:

  • excluding from an ESOS assessment any energy use that is not paid for directly by the relevant enterprise;
  • allowing buildings that have valid display energy certificates or that have undertaken Green Deal assessments within the past four years to be deemed to have satisfied ESOS requirements for that building;
  • allowing use of the data collected in a climate change agreement to assist in respect of ESOS obligations;
  • deeming a transport fleet to be compliant with ESOS transport requirements if it has been subject to a Green Fleet review within the past four years;
  • allowing enterprises that are certified to ISO50001 or ISO14001 (where this meets minimum standards of the directive) to be deemed ESOS compliant;
  • allowing audits in 2015, at the discretion of the ESOS administrator, to be based on other initiatives, such as the Carbon Trust Standard, and in subsequent years allowing these initiatives to be certified for their approach as any other enterprises wishing to conduct ESOS assessments would be; and
  • allowing flexibility around the period of time for which energy data is required, making it easier for enterprises to use data measurements from other schemes to inform the ESOS assessment.

The government has also expressed a wish to interpret the directive in a practical manner, and has therefore set out that ESOS assessments must provide, at a minimum:

  • a review of the total energy use and energy efficiency of an enterprise as a whole – this would include an energy intensity ratio (e.g. energy use per employee) and the variation in energy use over time within key buildings, industrial operations and transport activities; and
  • clear information on potential savings that identifies and quantifies cost-effective energy savings opportunities – this should, wherever practical, be based on a life cycle assessment instead of simple payback periods.

The approach above would appear to differ from a literal reading of the directive, which appears to require enterprises to create a full independant energy profile for all key sites, transport and processes. It is yet to be seen how this all pans out, but Alpine are monitoring progress and will report directly to any interested enterprise. Alpine Facilities have developed their own data gathering “app”, called “SiteSmart” which is used for much of the necessary information gathering – interested clients should mail enquiries@alpinefs.co.uk

ESOS gears up for Assessor Accreditation, Alpine advises Clients

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (‘ESOS’) is a new regulation being introduced to comply with Article 8 of the European Energy Efficiency Directive and will come into force in 2014. In line with Article 8 of the Directive, the scheme will require all large enterprises in the UK to undertake energy efficiency audits by December 2015, and thereafter at least once every four years. Details of the Government’s proposals were published in a Consultation Document in July 2013 as monitored by Alpine who will be training staff Assessors as soon as training criteria is established. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (‘DECC’) will publish its Government Response to the ongoing consultation and bring forward legislation to give effect to the scheme by May 2014 if it hits target. The Government is not far off appointing a contract to develop and run a process to assess whether professional bodies have adequate systems in place to determine that energy auditing professionals they endorse meet the level of competence established by PAS 51215 (a BSI standard shortly to be finalised).

The Government is currently evaluating professional bodies who wish to have their registers of energy professionals recognised for the purposes of ESOS. This will include Alpine ESOS energy professionals. The proposed approvals mechanism for the first phase of ESOS will operate from June to December 2014, although this may be extended. During that time professional bodies and energy specialists such as Alpine Facilities will be able to submit details of registers of energy professionals for approval. The approvals mechanism is currently being established to ensure that there is a sufficient number of approved lead auditors to allow large undertakings to comply with the ESOS scheme by December 2015. In this respect, interested clients are encouraged to get in touch with Alpine Facilities so that forward planning can take place.

Alpine Facilities have developed bespoke software called SiteSmart to collect data which will speed up the process and remove margins of error, all through Cloud Based “App” technology.

Alpine sees increasing interest in the ESOS The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, EPBD Regulations coming into force in 2014 and 2015

ESOS gears up for Assessor Accreditation, Alpine Facilities advises Clients

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (‘ESOS’) is a new regulation being introduced to comply with Article 8 of the European Energy Efficiency Directive and will come into force in 2014. In line with Article 8 of the Directive, the scheme will require all large enterprises in the UK to undertake energy efficiency audits by December 2015, and thereafter at least once every four years. Details of the Government’s proposals were published in a Consultation Document in July 2013 as monitored by Alpine Facilities who will be training staff Assessors as soon as training criteria is established. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (‘DECC’) will publish its Government Response to the ongoing consultation and bring forward legislation to give effect to the scheme by May 2014 if it hits target. The Government is not far off appointing a contract to develop and run a process to assess whether professional bodies have adequate systems in place to determine that energy auditing professionals they endorse meet the level of competence established by PAS 51215 (a BSI standard shortly to be finalised).

The Government is currently evaluating professional bodies who wish to have their registers of energy professionals recognised for the purposes of ESOS. This will include Alpine ESOS energy professionals. The proposed approvals mechanism for the first phase of ESOS will operate from June to December 2014, although this may be extended. During that time professional bodies and energy specialists such as Alpine will be able to submit details of registers of energy professionals for approval. The approvals mechanism is currently being established to ensure that there is a sufficient number of approved lead auditors to allow large undertakings to comply with the ESOS scheme by December 2015. In this respect, interested clients are encouraged to get in touch with Alpine Reports so that forward planning can take place.

Alpine Facilities have developed bespoke software called SiteSmart to collect data which will speed up the process and remove margins of error, all through Cloud Based “App” technology.

Alpine Facilities sees increasing interest in the ESOS The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, EPBD Regulations coming into force in 2014 and 2015