ESOS Phase 1 Reflection

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ESOS Phase 1 Reflection


Looking back at EMA Lead ESOS Assessor register, we trained nearly 100 Lead Assessors, who have signed off approximately 7% of UK’s large undertakings. Kit Oung, EMA Vice Chair, was pivotal in training and approving our ESOS Lead Assessors and reflects on ESOS Phase 1.

Was ESOS and PAS 51215 implemented as it was designed?

There are training courses that teach participants on how to do an energy assessment. Many professional bodies are also licensed to register Lead ESOS Assessors – each with differing entry requirements, structure, and qualification. The primary role of a Lead Assessors is to plan, review and approve energy saving recommendations and findings.

In approval of candidates for the EMA Lead Assessor Register, the minimum entry requirements specified by ESOS have been upheld – two years equivalent in energy management or energy audit. This has allowed all people with appropriate and relevant knowledge, skills and experience to be considered. The training course has introduced the key roles and responsibilities of a lead assessor: the planning, leading, reviewing, and communicating energy savings in an effective manner.

ESOS utilises two different concepts: energy assessment and energy audit. The guidance documents issued by DECC, and later by the Environment Agency, use the terms in a consistent manner. One of the key aspects of EMA Lead Assessor training is to understand and critically differentiate an “energy assessment” and an “energy audit”. This is of paramount importance as mistaking the requirements of an energy assessment with that of an energy audit could result in a great piece of work that does not comply with ESOS.

So, from the EMA’s perspective, the selection, design, delivery, and registration of lead assessors follows the spirit and requirements of ESOS.

75% large undertakings have complied with ESOS. Is this a success for UK?

In January 2016, Environment Agency figures showed that 75% of large undertakings have or will comply with ESOS regulation. Since then approximately 1,500 compliance notices were issued to large undertaking who have ignored the numerous notifications from Environment Agency and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), now Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Agency also carried out spot checks on a sample of ESOS notifications. A significant majority of notifications were compliant or have minor issues that are correctable relatively quickly. Only a handful was found to be deficient.

When I co-wrote the energy efficiency best practice guide for policy makers, Steven Fawkes, David Thorpe and I searched the world for best practices, including energy management and energy audit best practices. Only Australia’s former Energy Efficiency Obligation (EEO) scheme have higher compliance rate (98%). Australia’s EEO scheme also have higher administrative burden through their use of staged reporting and customised reporting templates.

UK’s ESOS is very similar to EEO but uses internationally recognised standards instead of reinventing the wheel. ESOS also have a simpler reporting mechanism, this keeping administrative burden for large undertakings and government down. All in all, this is a great result.

What can ESOS Lead Assessor do differently or do better to accelerate energy savings?

The hallmark of a good lead assessor is one that complies with ESOS, puts together a compelling vision for action, and successfully enrols the whole undertaking to use less energy. In my experience, seven things make a lead assessor to stand out from the crowd:
1. Craft a good plan for the energy assessment and swiftly changing programme to suit circumstances;
2. Manage a group or team of highly performing and dynamic energy assessors;
3. Create, manage and maintain a working and professional link with the client;
4. Conceptually develop an end-to-end implementation plan and cost estimates;
5. Create a portfolio of prioritised opportunities that maximises energy savings and minimises costs;
6. Advice on how the effectiveness of individual recommendations for portfolio can be verified;
7. Communicate with the senior executives in a manner that leads them to take effective action.

In effect, these are learned skills and even those that already possess them should continually review and improve. And the reason? This list of skills is not a template but a dynamic and ever changing process. Good lead assessors constantly tweak their skills to suit the large undertakings and clients.

The full article, including key learnings from ESOS Phase 1 and what is in store for ESOS Phase 2, will be available in the EMA Magazine’s 3rd issue in September 2016.

Kit Oung is the Energy Savings Director at Energy Efficien:ology. He is globally recognised and sought after UK expert on energy management and energy audits. He was instrumental in developing (and chaired some) the many standards specified in ESOS, e.g. ISO 50001, ISO 50002, EN 16247-1, EN 16247-3, EN 16247-5, and the technical author of UK’s PAS 51215. He authored and co-authored six books on energy management and energy auditing. Kit writes and speaks frequently on energy, environment, and sustainability.
Contact Kit at http://uk.linkedin/com/in/kitoung