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Updated Jul 7, 2021

ESOS recommendations to be mandatory?

A Consultation has been published, seeking views on the Government's proposal to improve and strengthen the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and increase the uptake of energy efficiency measures by participating businesses.

Background

ESOS is one of the major existing policies that seeks to improve business energy efficiency through providing participating businesses with trusted, high-quality information about potential energy savings they can make.

Acting on these energy efficiency recommendations provides participating businesses with the opportunity to reduce energy consumption and costs, as well as contribute to the UK’s net zero commitment through reducing emissions. 

Aims of the consultation

The specific aims of improving the scheme are to:

  • increase the number of ESOS participants that take action to reduce energy use by raising the quality of their ESOS audit;
  • increase the carbon and cost savings from ESOS by increasing the number and scope of ESOS recommendations taken up by participants;
  • make sure that ESOS recommendations are consistent with the UK’s net zero commitments.

These are set out further through the following Chapters in the Consultation:

Chapter 1 looks at how the standard and quality of ESOS audits could be improved. This includes proposals to:

  • require more standardisation of information provided in reports and auditing methods used;
  • tighten requirements around site sampling, use of de minimis exemptions and use of energy data;
  • allow participants to better judge their energy performance;
  • include more information about the performance of participants in relation to energy management and behaviour change, and how this can be improved.

Chapter 2 examines further ways that the quality of ESOS reports could be improved through:

  • making sure all assessors are appropriately trained and monitored so that they continue to meet the required standards;
  • making sure organisations can identify when specialist assessor advice is needed and are able to find assessors with that expertise;
  • addressing issues arising from the 4-yearly cycle of ESOS in producing peaks and troughs in the ESOS assessor market;
  • considering how ESOS audits could be more effective in encouraging the uptake of recommendations.

Chapter 3 seeks views on how ESOS can address the net zero challenge by including an assessment of participating businesses’ greenhouse gas emissions in addition to their energy use, along with the potential for decarbonisation.

Chapter 4 considers how public disclosure of ESOS data could increase the uptake of ESOS recommendations by participating businesses and make reporting more transparent.

Chapter 5 weighs up proposed options for extending the scheme to medium-sized enterprises (MEs), which would extend the benefits of the scheme to a greater number of UK businesses.

Chapter 6, perhaps most significantly, looks at the scope for encouraging uptake of ESOS recommendations through various means, including the possibility of mandating action, to ensure that participating businesses take up their energy efficiency recommendations.

Responding to this Consultation

This Consultation is open for responses from 6 July 2021 until 28 September 2021.

For more information, see the: