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ESOS: Phase 3 Changes are Implemented

Published on 30/11/2023 by Acclaro Advisory

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, or ESOS, is an energy assessment scheme for organisations to undertake comprehensive assessments of total energy consumption and carry out energy audits to identify cost effective energy savings opportunities. It is the UK’s response to Article 8 of the European Commission’s Energy Efficiency Directive, and is mandatory for large organisations that meet the qualifying criteria. These criteria are if it employs 250 or more people, and/or if it has an annual turnover in excess of £44 million and an annual balance sheet total in excess of £38 million.

On 7th November, a Statutory Instrument was laid in Parliament, implementing changes to ESOS Phase 3. This includes the previously agreed extension of the compliance date to 5 June 2024, allowing participants more time to comply with the changes to the regulations.

This came into force on 29th November, including new requirements for Phase 3 compliance on public disclosure of information relating to ESOS audits, production of action plans with annual progress reporting, and a greater standardisation in information collated. These changes were set out in the July 2022 Government Response: Strengthening the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), and are as follows:

  • Participants to audit at least 95% of total energy consumption (previously 90%)
  • Increased detail required regarding calculations of energy consumption, including energy intensity ratios
  • Explanation for how the site visits carried out are considered to be representative of energy use is to be included
  • An ESOS report to be produced, including those using alternative compliance routes such as ISO 50001; specific data to be captured, including information on energy savings made since the previous compliance date
  • Disclosure of certain relevant information from the ESOS report and relevant supporting information relating to alternative compliance routes to all members of the corporate group
  • Specification of information must be identified in relation to energy saving opportunities; includes their costs, benefits and a programme for implementing them

These changes have been designed to strengthen and standardise the requirements for ESOS audits, which occur every four years, and to improve the quality of said audits. The intended outcome is a reduction in energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions, as well as increased energy bills savings for large businesses in the UK.

Acclaro can provide support for ESOS compliance, including sign-off by a certified lead assessor.

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