by Kit Oung
There are roughly three months to go before ESOS compliance date – 5th December 2015. By this date all large undertakings in the UK should have notified the Environment Agency of their compliance. One of the key questions that I get on an increasing frequency is, “I haven’t started my compliance process, can I still make it?” or “Is the Environment Agency going to penalise me if I start now but complete process a little late?”
Several weeks back, I had a discussion with one company. They were in panic as they have not started the ESOS compliance process and thought it is more complicated and difficult than it really is. It also transpires that their scope of compliance is down on one building and a small fleet of cars. I have told them if they start immediately, there should be no problem finishing the whole process in a month!
Suffice to say, there really is no excuse for large undertakings to comply by 5th December 2015. Here is how to do so in 3 months … along with some good news.
Good news 1: You do not need to have an ESOS lead assessor to start the compliance process. The primary role of the lead assessor is to review and approve the energy audit for your company. He/she does not have to be part of the energy audit activity. At a minimum, you need a lead assessor before you start the energy audit. As long as you have complied with the simple rules laid out in ESOS, the lead assessor need only review and confirm that the work done so far is compliant.
Good news 2: If your company have an environmental permit or participates in CRC, Climate Change Agreements (CCA), European emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) or utilises any non-financial reporting frameworks such as GRI or CDP, you already have the data. What is missing would be the transport fuel, which is available from the finance department as mileage expenses.
Good news 3: The calculation for total energy consumption can be in monetary units or in energy units. This gives you the maximum flexibility to pull information from available reports. Do note though, calculations in CO2 units are not acceptable for ESOS compliance.
Good news 4: Most companies already carry out energy audits, implement the recommendations and save money. This previous work can count towards ESOS compliance as long as it meets the same specifications. Check all your previous energy audit work, display energy certificates or green deal assessments. If they are valid, remove them from the scope of your energy audit.
Good news 5: You can also use the energy audit as part of your ISO 50001 in the New Year. The energy audit sits comfortably in ISO 50001’s energy review. To complete the energy review, all you need is (or ask the consultant) to develop your company’s energy baselines and energy performance indicators, use the energy baselines to forecast future energy consumption, and identify the key personnel that affects energy consumption in your company. Upon confirmation that all parts of ISO 50001 requirements are met, you’ll be able to say your company is ISO 50001-compliant.
After reading this article, check out the official and in plain English Guide to ESOS compliance. The Guide gives a description of the whole ESOS compliance process and additional information in a simple-to-follow and chronological manner.
If you need more time than until 5th December 2015, contact the Environment Agency at firstname.lastname@example.org, describe your situation, efforts and concrete plans to finish. Many people think of the Environment Agency as a “big hairy monster” that dishes out penalties for fun. You may find the Agency more understanding than you think!
Kit Oung is an experienced energy manager at Energy Efficien:ology, board member of Energy Managers’ Association, and Advisory member of 2degrees Network. He is a qualified ESOS Lead assessor and ISO 50001 lead auditor. Kit also trains ESOS lead assessors at the Energy Managers’ Association and IChemE. He is the author of Energy Management in Business: The Manager’s Guide to Maximising and Sustaining Energy Reduction (Gower) and Energy Audits: The Key to Delivering Real Energy Reduction (BSI).
If you wish to become an approved and registered ESOS lead assessor, please contact Jana Skodlova at email@example.com or on 0203 176 2834.