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What is the latest Government scheme, ESOS, all about?

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The Aim of ESOS
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a new UK (and European) scheme to encourage large organisations to save energy and money. It does this by requiring that organisations undertake regular assessments to identify cost-effective energy saving measures on supplies to buildings, industrial processes and transport.
 
ESOS is aimed at large organisations that meet a set criteria based on turnover or number of employees. A lot of schools and academies will not meet the criteria therefore will not be required to register for ESOS, while others might reach the economic criteria but could be exempt for other reasons. It is important to check with the Environmental Agency if you are unsure. The Email address is ESOS@environment-agency.gov.uk and the Environmental Agency published guide can be found here.

ESOS key date
? Organisations in the UK must assess whether or not they are required to participate in ESOS on the qualification date of 31 December 2014. The assessment will be made on the most recent set of financial statements from the qualification date.
? Complete an ESOS Assessment of your organisation by the compliance date of 5th December 2015.
? Participation are re-assessed for compliance every four years.

Does ESOS applies to your organisation?
? Simple answer – any organisation that meets the criteria of a large undertaking will be required to participate, excluding the Public Sector (defined as funded by Public money).
? Schools and Academies that are primarily funded by public monies and are bound by Public Contracts Regulations 2006 are exempt no matter the size of the undertaking. If you are unsure as to whether an undertaking is subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, the Environmental Agency (EA) recommends you seek legal advice
? Any school not funded by public money and that operates as a business or trade (even if a not for profit organisation, or hold a charitable status) would need to decide if they meet the criteria of a large organisation.
? Schools set up as part of a group with an overall holding company would only qualify under ESOS if one of the separate undertaking (including the holding company) met the large undertaking criteria.
? If one school/ organisation within a group meets the large undertaking status, then all of the organisations within the group have to comply with the ESOS requirement.
? If there is any concern over compliance please seek advice from the Environmental Agency

Definition of a large undertaking:
• Large undertakings are defined as employing more than 250 people or with annual turnover more than €50M (approximately £40M) or a balance sheet that is over €43M (approximately £34M)
• Charities that meet this definition must check to see if they are require to participate as any trade or business activity will bring them under the ESOS regulation.
• A corporate group can qualify for exemption if all its businesses, including the holding company, fall outside of the large undertaking definition.
 
Summary of requirements
Organisations covered by ESOS will need to conduct an ESOS assessment which is strangely similar to CRC and previous scheme’s too so you may have some of this is place already. This will include but perhaps not limited to:
•    measuring the total energy consumption, including transportation.
•    identifying the areas of significant energy consumption (at least 90% of the total)
•    selecting a route to compliance in respect of each area of significant energy consumption and undertaking the activity to comply via this route - these include ESOS-compliant energy audits, certified ISO 50001 coverage, a Green Deal Assessment or a   Display Energy Certificate
•    appointing a 'lead assessor' to undertake, oversee or review their audits and overall assessment.