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ESOS Phase 2: it pays to be prepared

With wholesale costs on the up and the next phase of compliance just two years away, businesses can’t stand still when it comes to energy reduction and reporting. From ISO15001 to working to Phase 2 compliance, what steps should your business be taking today to be prepared?

If your business was caught by Phase 1 ESOS legislation, it may well have felt like a battle was over when you got your 2015 compliance under your belt. Whilst ESOS has the potential to live up to its name and deliver real saving opportunities, the unfortunate fact is that many businesses ticked ESOS off their to-do list but have yet to implement any recommendations.

If your business is one of those yet to really see the benefit of energy efficiency savings, it’s worth getting on board now, particularly when rising wholesale prices make the case for energy reduction even more compelling. Dusting off the ESOS report and revisiting some of the suggestions could reap rewards.

It pays to be prepared

The compliance period of ESOS Phase 2 is now underway and despite some question marks around future of energy reporting legislation thanks to Brexit and plans to eventually create a single reporting framework, one thing is certain: energy efficiency measures will only become more important to your business as time goes on.

Whilst future changes may eventually mean that ESOS is resigned to the history books, there are currently no indications that Phase 2 won’t go ahead; whilst Government announced that a single reporting framework is set to be introduced by April 2019, no additional details have been released or consulted upon to date. Whilst ESOS was originally introduced as part of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, it is now embodied in the UK’s own regulatory framework – so triggering Article 50 is unlikely to trigger the end of ESOS as we know it.

That said, business who do approach ESOS head on, rather than taking an alternative route (see below), will need to be mindful of the way in which they collect, collate and utilise data. After this second phase it may well be necessary to adapt to new processes.

A route to reduction and compliance

For some businesses, ISO50001 offers a better route to ESOS compliance. As an alternative to beginning the ESOS process from scratch, you could make use of your first ESOS audit now to implement an energy management system and work towards ISO50001, which will automatically demonstrate Phase 2 compliance when the time comes.

The benefit of ISO50001 compliance is that it enables you to deliver an ongoing strategy for reducing your business energy consumption – meaning continuous cost savings and board-level support are easier to secure. ISO50001 can also help you to demonstrate your business’ green credentials and will not only provide you with peace of mind that ESOS compliance is within easy reach, but also that your organisation will be equipped to deal with any future changes to reporting legislation.

If your plan is to strive ahead with Phase 2 Compliance, here are some important facts about the second phase of ESOS, and some helpful tips for getting the most from the process.

ESOS Phase 2: the basics

  • The ESOS compliance period lasts for four years. As the last compliance deadline was December 5th 2015, the new compliance period will be 6th December 2015 to 5th December 2019.
  • The qualification date for ESOS Phase 2 is 31st December 2018
  • The submission date for proof of compliance through the next phase is 5th December 2019.

What will your business need to do to comply?

If you already know that you will be caught by ESOS Phase 2, it could pay to start preparations now; to avoid disruption or unnecessary cost further down the line. If you took part in Phase 1, completed ESOS audits will have provided you with a detailed plan of action to follow for energy efficiency savings. However, whilst the audit and the opportunities identified are valuable to your business, they are not proof of compliance during Phase 2 – the whole ESOS process will need to be repeated.  Starting that process now will give you the opportunity to gather information over time, which could be easier on your business and your budget than compiling it in retrospect. If you don’t have the time or resources to do this, or would like extra help or advice on compiling your data, expert help is available.

Play the long game

Taking a longer-term approach to energy efficiency across your business makes it easier to introduce incremental change that can bolster short term projects, gives you an opportunity to monitor and measure effectiveness of your changes, and gives you a better chance of getting the whole team on-board. After all, for maximum efficacy, it’s important that everyone sees the real value of making changes; from the small behavioural adjustments that can be made by everyone every day, right through to the larger investments which will really impact your bottom line.

Read more about ISO50001 here, or talk to an expert. today.