Guest Blog: Andrew Fletcher – ESOS – The early bird catches the worm

Over the past few months I’ve had hundreds of conversations related to the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) – most with ashen-faced energy managers or other representatives of organisations required […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Over the past few months I’ve had hundreds of conversations related to the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) – most with ashen-faced energy managers or other representatives of organisations required to achieve compliance by the 5th of December this year.

In most cases they have described themselves as confused and even petrified as a result of conflicting and often incorrect information from various “experts” on what compliance with ESOS actually means for them and potential costs!

Get the Board on and stop daydreaming

Contrary to the myths, for once a government initiative/legislative requirement actually largely does what it says on the tin.

ESOS is all about enabling organisations to identify cost-effective energy saving opportunities within their businesses. What is unusual – and dare I suggest clever – about ESOS is rather than simply box ticking, it actually requires a Board Director (or two if the assessment process is completed by an internal lead assessor) to review and “sign off” on the results prior to making a declaration of compliance to the Environment Agency.

What’s clever?

It’s that at long last ESOS provides energy managers or those responsible for (managing) energy with a long overdue opportunity to present the case for energy management and conservation to the board.

Some organisations, M&S for example with their lauded Plan A, recognised the critical role energy plays within their business many years ago and today the contribution to their P&L year on year is simply breathtaking.

For many others, energy continues to be treated as merely an “overhead” or uncontrollable cost within the business. Presented with the opportunity afforded by ESOS, many organisations will experience first-hand the extent and magnitude of the opportunities for reducing energy usage and improving energy efficiency as well as the return on investment these offer. No longer will the mention of energy be accompanied by a simultaneous yawn or that faraway look!

Ed, Dave, Nick or Nigel? It really doesn’t matter

As a result, I appeal to all organisations that meet the large undertaking criteria for ESOS to stop ignoring the compliance deadline (irrespective of the outcome to the imminent general election, ESOS is here to stay).

So what should you do?

Determine the scope of ESOS as it applies to you, what method of compliance is optimal to your organisation, appoint a suitable approved lead assessor (my top tip is if someone from an external consultancy, broker or other provider claims they are an approved ESOS lead assessor they will be on a register via an approved body – so check!), whether the competence to deliver compliance resides internally, requires specialist external input or a combination of both and get on with it!

You will not be disappointed with the results – you’ll wish you’d known the potential for energy savings within your business a long time ago.

 

Andrew Fletcher is the Managing Director at Carbon Control.

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