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As part of our commitment to continually improve our service and to help our clients meet their legal obligations, we continue to update the Legal Registers on our website and provide free quarterly legal compliance updates to anyone who subscribes. The purpose of these updates is to ensure you stay up to date with any changes in your legal compliance obligations, our updates can also be kept and can be used as evidence that your business is staying up to date with any changes in the legislation, this can be very helpful at audit time.
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014 (ESOS) is a mandatory energy assessment and energy-saving identification scheme in the UK. The scheme requires large companies with over 250 employees or an annual turnover of more than €50 million and an annual balance sheet total of more than €43 million to undertake energy audits every four years. The audits are aimed at identifying cost-effective energy-saving measures that could lead to significant reductions in energy consumption, carbon emissions, and energy costs. The audits must cover at least 90% of the organisation's energy consumption and include an assessment of energy consumption patterns, identification of areas of significant energy consumption, and recommendations for cost-effective energy-saving measures. The scheme applies to all large organisations that are registered in the UK or have a UK subsidiary that meets the eligibility criteria. Organisations that fail to comply with the scheme may face financial penalties.
Under The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014 (ESOS), eligible organisations are required to carry out an energy audit that identifies their energy consumption and identifies cost-effective energy saving opportunities. The energy audit must cover at least 90% of the organisation's total energy consumption, including buildings, industrial processes, and transport. The audit must also identify areas of significant energy consumption, such as lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, as well as other energy-using equipment and processes.
The audit must be conducted by a lead assessor who is a member of a professional body or accredited by the Environment Agency. The assessor must use an approved methodology to conduct the audit and must ensure that the audit is carried out in accordance with the ESOS requirements. The audit report must include an executive summary, a description of the energy-saving opportunities identified, and an estimate of the potential savings that could be achieved. It must also include a plan for implementing the energy-saving opportunities, including timelines, responsibilities, and estimated costs.
Organisations must then notify the Environment Agency of their compliance with the scheme, including evidence of the energy audit and the identification of cost-effective energy-saving opportunities. The evidence requirements include a signed copy of the energy audit report, evidence of board-level sign-off, and details of the lead assessor and their accreditation. The Environment Agency may request additional evidence or information to verify compliance with the scheme.
Organisations must carry out an energy audit every four years and must retain records of the audit and any energy-saving opportunities identified for at least five years.
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014 (ESOS) provides some exemptions for eligible organisations from the requirements of the scheme. These exemptions include:
1. Organisations that have been awarded or certified with ISO 50001, a standard for energy management systems, within the qualification period of ESOS (January 1, 2011, to December 5, 2019) are exempt.
2. Organisations that can demonstrate that they have carried out a comprehensive energy audit that meets the requirements of ESOS within the last four years are exempt.
3. Organisations that are part of a corporate group where at least one member has already complied with ESOS are exempt, provided that the group notifies the Environment Agency of the compliance of the member company.
4. Organisations that have a low energy consumption, defined as consuming less than 40,000 kWh of energy per year or having fewer than 12 months of continuous operation, are exempt.
5. Public sector organisations that are fully engaged in the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) are exempt.
It's important to note that some exemptions may have specific requirements or conditions, so it's best to consult the regulations or seek professional advice to determine if an organisation is exempt.
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Including our quarterly legal compliance updates that are a great resource for evidence for your ISO audits.