So here we have yet another regulation, following yet another European Directive, requiring companies to do the bidding of the EU. Is this a reason to believe that Farage fellow may have a valid point?
The particular regulation on this occasion is ESOS, or energy saving opportunities scheme to give its full name. A bind or an opportunity? That depends on your point of view and the subsequent action taken. Certainly it can be reduced to a pay, comply and move on activity. No doubt many companies will take this stance. For those that do this is a major missed opportunity as the savings to be had can be very substantial indeed. Most organisations can save 20 to 30% of their energy use by critically assessing their approach with the right 3rd party support.
A recipe for success
A key part of the assessment is the provision of energy saving recommendations. The more opportunity provided to an assessor to review, quantify, detail and prioritise recommendations the greater the likelihood of them being put into practice. It will be no surprise that companies paying for second rate assessments get second rate recommendations that do not deliver savings or a return on their ESOS investment.
Fundamental to driving the assessment and determination of the savings is good quality data on energy consumption. Preparing the data is of course key and a good assessor will work in partnership with you and your colleagues to do this. Our experience of delivering ESOS audits and similar schemes for clients demonstrates that time spent at this stage is time saved later in the process. A vital ingredient is also a good understanding of the client’s organisation and business operation to yield the most valuable insights which can deliver the biggest potential savings.
An integrated approach
The scheme brings together the worlds of building and transport energy efficiency. Bringing these under the same scheme promotes the EU objective of an integrated approach to ‘tap all the existing energy saving potential’. And so this should be for your organisations. At the end of the day, it’s about finding the most competitive way to run your business and meet your related carbon targets.
Done properly this scheme will provide you with a balanced picture of where savings can be made in the most cost effective way whilst at the same time allowing you to run your business and comply with the regulations.
Seizing the opportunity to save
The energy saving recommendations delivered as part of ESOS are then there to be acted on. There is no mandated requirement to do anything with them but it would be a major missed opportunity not to. Most companies will find they can make savings worth many multiples of the cost of compliance. For some this will be the point at which they really seize the opportunity and gear up to developing and implementing a strategic plan for energy savings. One route is through ISO 50001 which can be used as a compliance route in future ESOS assessments. However bespoke alternatives may better suit others in ensuring that the momentum continues and the savings multiply. I’ll describe how to do this in my next blog.
If you would like any advice with on how to implement ESOS and be more efficient by making your buildings work harder contact Matt Whitehead, Head of Carbon and Energy Reduction at LCMB, [email protected] or t: 01295 722823