Businesses are being advised to start being compliant “as early as possible” to make sure they meet the government’s energy audits deadline and avoid fines.
As part of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), all large firms in the private sector – those with more than 250 employees or an annual turnover of more than €50 million (£39m) and an annual balance sheet of over €43 million (£33.9m) – are required to conduct energy audits of their buildings, industrial processes and transportation every four years.
Louise Powell, Business Development Manager at Gemserv is urging businesses to start their audits and avoid non-compliance fines of up to £90,000.
She said: “There are pros and cons to all four compliance routes (ISO 50001, the international standard for energy management; ESOS assessments; Display Energy Certificates; and Green Deal Assessments) and it’s important organisations do their research, evaluate all the options and implement the one that best enables them to comply with the scheme.”
However, she suggests firms should be taking a longer term view and using ESOS as a way of gaining the ISO 50001 certification, regardless of which compliance route they choose.
ISO 50001 is internationally recognised as the “best practice methodology for energy efficiency”.
It supports organisations in implementing a flexible Energy Management System (EnMS) that shows where energy is being used and wasted, where the most savings can be made and crucially, helps them realise those savings, unlike the ESOS assessments.
Ms Powell believes although ESOS offers energy managers an opportunity to raise the profile of energy efficiency within their organisation and at board level, the initial interest the reports generate is “unlikely to be sustained” as assessments are undertaken only once every four years.
“ISO 50001 on the other hand, requires a review of the EnMS by senior management at least annually. This provides energy managers with the chance to demonstrate the financial and environmental impact that improving energy efficiency is having on the organisation, enables additional resources to be requested to achieve the objectives and targets that senior management have agreed and helps to maintain the momentum that ESOS will generate”, she added.
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