What is ESOS? What’s it all about then?

What is ESOS? What’s it all about then?


Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme, or ESOS, is the vehicle that the UK is using to comply with the European Union 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive, Article 8. It is designed to improve business profits, enhance competitiveness, whilst reducing impact on the Environment and Climate Change.

It is estimated that there are energy efficiency savings of around £2bn still to be made by UK business. Most organisations can save 20 to 25% through simple energy efficiency measures alone.

Does ESOS Apply to my Business?

If your business has a physical presence in the UK and that entity meets the ESOS criteria, you will have to take steps to account for your energy consumption and identify savings opportunities.

Does My Business Fit the ESOS Criteria?

Large businesses must make an ESOS return to the Environment Agency. Organisation’s are designated as ‘Large’ if they:

Employ more than 250 people


Have a turnover of in excess of 50 million Euro’s or a balance sheet of in excess of 43 million Euro’s.


Has a presence in the UK and the above tests apply.

Public Sector organisation’s will not normally be subject to ESOS. Although some Universities, if they fit the criteria above and are not subject to the Public Sector Contract Regulations 2012, in England Scotland and Wales, or Public Sector Contract Regulations 2005 in Scotland.

The ESOS Criteria Applies To My Business, what should I do?

To comply with the regulations, a ‘Lead Energy Assessor’ will need to conduct an ESOS Assessment to:

  • Measure your total energy consumption for buildings, industrial processes, and transport
  • Identify areas of significant energy consumption, accounting for at least 90% of your total energy consumption
  • Identify cost-effective energy efficiency recommendations for areas of significant energy consumption
  • Report compliance to the Environment Agency by December 2015
  • Repeat ESOS Audit at least every 4 years

What does an ESOS Assessment Look Like?

The ESOS Assessment has no prescribed format but the Lead Assessor must confirm that it meets all the parameters and reports in all data as required by ESOS.

At least one site visit is required to ensure assessments are not theoretical. Organisation’s with several similar sites or assets can take a proportionate approach, applying recommendations from one audit across the wider portfolio. If all cost saving energy improvements have been made in smaller sites, using  the Assessment criteria from authorised agencies and no significant changes by way of output, refitting or upgrading have been made then New Assessments do not have to be made (although advice in this instance should be taken).

Exemptions from ESOS

Organisation’s which are fully covered by ISO50001 have an exemption from ESOS. In addition, businesses which have had Green Deal Assessments (GDA) or have Display Energy Certificates (DEC) in place may be excluded from this process. However GDA or DEC may not be sufficient so guidance should be sort from the Department of the Environment.

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