Phil Draper from Cavendish Engineers on phase 2 of the government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme and the benefits for UK companies as we countdown to Brexit
There’s no doubt about it: energy is a massive contributor to savings across the bottom line and it’s why UK companies should be paying close attention to ESOS and the associated benefits.
Introduced in 2015 and a part of the Energy Efficiency Directive from the European Union, ESOS is the UK strand of that plan to reduce consumption in this country and we’re fast approaching the December 2019 deadline for phase 2 of compliance.
With Brexit just a year away, some companies will be thinking “why bother?” But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Brexit transition period goes beyond the ESOS deadline, meaning fines for non-compliance plus we should be proud that the UK is seen as a leader when it comes to energy efficiency. Let’s build on that for future generations because, whether we like it or not, increases in asthma rates and air quality are coming from somewhere. If you removed all of the boilers in London it would be the equivalent of taking half the cars off the road in the capital, so ESOS is a real driver for improved wellbeing.
ESOS is mandatory for any UK company with over 250 employees or a turnover of €50m and a balance sheet of €43m. But what are the actions going to be from those companies meeting the criteria?
The aim is to reduce energy use in the UK but ESOS has a reputation as something that’s got to be done, a box-ticking exercise. Are UK companies really seeing the bigger picture - reduced energy usage and, in many cases, big financial savings?
ESOS is all about the long-term vision, not short-term deadline compliance and it’s why companies need to be on top of their data. It plays such a big role and should be constantly evaluated.
Our research shows that most of the buildings we’ve worked in have the tools to be far more effective and smarter with their energy usage and they don’t always need the latest technology to see better results.
If you always use your washing machine at 60 degrees, then it doesn’t really matter if it’s a new or old model. You’ll be using the same energy regardless because you’ll always have the dial on default. But if you understand the full scope of the technology in front of you then you’ll see that the dial can be turned to 40 degrees - now you’re on the road to saving energy.
The transition to being energy efficient can be as simple as that - it can be operational and you don’t always need the expensive equipment to see change. The initial fear at organisations is usually: “can it be done?”
But by making the most of infrastructure that’s in place already, using benchmarking data and analytics to identify future energy saving opportunities, and organisations will be able to look ahead to revising targets to an even bigger percentage for phase 3 of ESOS.
Phil Draper is a management consultant at Cavendish Engineers