November 2023 marks significant developments in the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Phase 3, bringing to the fore vital compliance updates.
This article highlights the now compulsory reporting for ISO 50001 users, the intensified scrutiny on energy saving opportunities, and the imperative for actionable plans with yearly updates. These amendments are crucial in advancing the scheme’s objectives in sustainability and efficiency.
Mandatory Reporting for ISO 50001 Users
In a significant change, ESOS Phase 3 mandates comprehensive reporting for all participants, including those certified under the ISO 50001 energy management system. This marks a significant policy shift, as ISO 50001 users previously had certain exemptions from the standard ESOS reporting requirements. Now, these organisations must submit a detailed report that includes data on energy savings achieved since the last compliance period. This change is designed to ensure uniformity across all participants, reinforcing the scheme’s commitment to continuous improvement in energy efficiency. The report must provide a clear and quantifiable account of energy-saving initiatives, highlighting the practical steps taken towards sustainable energy management.
Detailed Analysis of Energy Saving Opportunities
The new regulations require participants to conduct an in-depth analysis of potential energy saving opportunities. This involves a meticulous evaluation of various energy-saving measures, including an assessment of their costs and benefits. Organisations must also develop a structured implementation plan, laying out a clear and actionable strategy for realising these opportunities. This requirement goes beyond mere compliance; it serves as a strategic tool for organisations to identify and leverage cost-effective energy-saving measures, thereby contributing to their long-term sustainability goals. The detailed analysis is expected to provide a roadmap for practical energy efficiency improvements and financial savings.
Action Plans and Regular Updates
Post-compliance, ESOS participants are now obliged to create and submit an action plan to the scheme administrator. This plan should detail the energy efficiency measures the organisation commits to implementing. Crucially, this plan is not a one-off requirement; it necessitates annual progress reviews. These reviews serve as a mechanism for ensuring that organisations are actively engaged in and accountable for their energy efficiency commitments. The action plan should be dynamic, reflecting any changes or advancements in energy-saving techniques and technologies. This continuous review process underscores the scheme’s focus on ongoing improvement and adaptation to emerging energy efficiency trends.
Additional Key Updates in ESOS Phase 3
The recent statutory instrument (SI) enacting changes for ESOS Phase 3 also includes several other significant provisions:
- Audit Requirements and Standardisation: Audits must cover at least 95% of total energy consumption (previously 90%). More detailed calculation of energy consumption, including energy intensity ratios, is required.
- Improvement of ESOS Audit Quality: Specifications on identifying energy saving opportunities, including their costs, benefits, and implementation programmes, have been introduced.
- Public Disclosure and Additional Reporting: Participants must publicly disclose certain high-level recommendations and additional information to support compliance monitoring and enforcement. This includes new requirements for action plans and annual progress updates on energy efficiency measures.
- Extension of Compliance Deadline: The deadline for compliance with phase 3 of ESOS, including the dates for most of the supporting data, has been extended.
- Exemption and New Requirements for Certain Participants: An exemption from appointing a lead assessor is legislated for participants with energy consumption less than 40,000 kWh, with a new requirement for two directors to sign off the compliance notification.
- Changes to Corporate Group Responsibilities: Specific responsibilities for action plans and progress updates when there are changes within a corporate group.
- Specific Requirements for Estimates: New requirements introduced for cases where estimates are made under the regulations.
- Applicability to Trust Assets: The legislative changes have been extended to apply to relevant trust assets.
How We Can Help
McGrady Clarke remains at the forefront, offering guidance and support to organisations transitioning into this enhanced ESOS framework. Our expertise can aid in developing comprehensive ESOS reports and action plans, ensuring your organisation not only meets the new regulations but also thrives under them.
These updates signify a robust step towards improved energy efficiency and sustainability in the UK. By integrating ISO 50001 users with broader ESOS requirements, the scheme reaffirms its foundational aim: to foster meaningful energy savings and a more sustainable future.
Contact our experts today to learn how we can support your organisation in complying with ESOS regulations but also thriving within their remit.
We always advise qualifying organisations to closely monitor the government’s website for any updates.
McGrady Clarke were first made aware of this change to the deadline via a newsletter from the Environment Agency circulated on 29th November 2023 and take no responsibility for any inaccuracies within this statement.