The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) evaluation report and Post Implementation Review yesterday.
The ESOS evaluation report is the outcome of the research commissioned by BEIS to identify how best to promote greater energy efficiency in buildings and industry and ultimately reduce business energy costs. The analysis has considered the effectiveness of energy audits and energy reporting in the non-domestic sector with an evaluation of ESOS being pivotal to the research.
According to the research, 38% of all implemented or planned energy efficiency measures since starting the ESOS process were associated to some extent to the scheme. The most common measures were improvements to lighting or processes.
The research also identified that 32% of all the fuel efficiency measures that had been implemented or planned since ESOS were associated to some extent to the scheme.
The modelling of implemented energy efficiency measures during the research also estimated that ESOS led to central estimates of 1.65TWh of energy efficiency savings as a result of changes made to buildings, 1.51TWh from changes made to industrial processes and 0.52TWh of savings from fuel efficiency.
Based on the study, ESOS often encouraged audits in businesses for the first time, encouraged gathering and discussion of data and increased awareness of energy or fuel consumption and associated cost. In some cases, ESOS identified brand new energy saving opportunities, in other cases the external validation of already planned measures added value to the audits.
The report also identified that 37% of organisations agreed that ‘changes made as a result of ESOS had already let to net cost savings’ for their business. The wider benefits that were reported included staff productivity and reputational benefits.
In organisations with imbedded energy management practices, the ESOS showed a more limited impact.
As for the ESOS Lead Assessor market, the ESOS compliance requirement generated a significant level of workload around the ESOS Phase 1 compliance deadline in December 2015. Overall, the findings to date do not show that ESOS has had a significant long-term effect on the assessor market.
The study concluded that more support and levers might help businesses to foster the implementation of energy efficiency measures. Amongst the additional support and levers could be sharing of best practice and publication of benchmarks, public reporting of recommended measures, promoting or incentivising ISO50001 certification and maximising alignment with other policies such as Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR).