EU energy directive: a blessing in disguise for large companies

EU energy directive: a blessing in disguise for large companies

As far as energy efficiency is concerned, it seems that things are set to change. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is the UK government’s interpretation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive where all member states must introduce a requirement for ‘large’ businesses to undertake an assessment of their energy usage every four years.

By ‘large’ is meant those businesses with either more than 250 employees or both a turnover of more than 50m Euros and assets over 43m Euros. The stipulation is that the first of the assessments must be completed and registered by 15 December, 2015.

Tadea is in the energy management business and so it is no great surprise that, for us, this is a positive development. However, putting this self-interest to one side, it must be noted that this is a compliance requirement that will actually make many businesses leaner and more competitive, and will also provide greater financial control over the medium to long term.

MalcolmESOS is an attempt to harmonise and raise the standards of energy efficiency assessments. This is important because two of the most often stated obstacles to reducing energy usage are: 1) a lack of faith in energy advice and measurement; and 2) a lack of perception in the value of investing time and money in energy efficiency analysis.

There is still a great deal of business and individual resistance to the notion of energy management. The topic can be bracketed as ‘quirky’ in the same way as electric vehicles or low energy light bulbs so often are, or as ‘negative’ along the lines of the all-encompassing phrase ‘carbon tax’.

If we leave aside here any debate about climate change or the politics of ‘shale gas versus renewable energy’, it has to be said that any internal or external initiative that reduces your energy bill can only be good for your business. The two most important objectives of an energy assessment are to point out how your business can reduce its energy costs and to provide you with information that explicitly demonstrates the technical and financial value for the business of any action taken.

The energy assessment should not just be a tick-box exercise in compliance. It should – and you should demand that it does – provide you with objective information that enables you to understand, amongst much else:

  • How efficiently you use the energy you are buying (and, concomitantly, how much energy you are paying for and wasting)
  • How efficiently items of plant and equipment – from vehicles to air compressors and boilers – are performing
  • Employee attitudes to energy usage
  • How different levels of investment will improve performance, and over what period of time.

Depending upon the size of your business you will hear a good deal more about ESOS over the coming months. You will no doubt also get a number of e-mails from companies offering to help you though the process. To find out more about the initiative before you make up your mind how best to proceed, try visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/energy-savings-opportunity-scheme