By Daniel Hunter

With 365 days until large UK organisations must comply with new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) legislation, energy and water consultant Utilitywise, has issued a warning that the business impacted may be missing out on over £63 million of energy savings.

Utilitywise has identified that the average firm that is required to comply with the mandatory scheme could save 13% of their energy costs, but only if audit findings are used as a springboard to minimise consumption.

ESOS is an energy assessment and energy savings identification scheme for large organisations in the UK. Whilst public bodies are not affected, large organisations of more than 250 employees, or those that have an annual turnover of £40 million and a balance sheet of more than £34 million, must comply with the new rules.

The legislation requires those affected to be compliant, having undertaken an ESOS audit (or obtaining an alternative route to compliance), by 5 December next year or facing fines of potentially tens of thousands of pounds.

In order to be compliant companies must cover all process, transport and energy use. This can be achieved either by specifically commissioning an ESOS Audit, holding or gaining ISO 50001 certification, holding a valid Display Energy Certificate (DEC) accompanied by a recommendation report for each building or having a Green Deal assessment for each building. Yet, the recommendations in every audit are voluntary.

Tim Hipperson from Utilitywise said: “With only 12 months to be compliant this legislation has suddenly become more real for companies right across the UK. Whilst the light touch nature of the way the legislation is welcome, thousands of companies may miss out if they only view ESOS a tick box exercise. Through our work with almost 20,000 clients we know that poor buying and management of utilities stops growth and damages businesses’ bottom lines. Rather, ESOS compliance can act as a springboard for energy to be managed more effectively.”

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