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How to choose an ESOS Lead Assessor

The ESOS Phase 2 deadline – 5th December 2019 – is now less than a year away, which means that eligible companies will need to begin collecting their energy data soon, if they haven’t already started.

Those that were eligible for Phase 1 will know that now is also the time to secure a Lead Assessor, as during the first phase there were a shortage of available Lead Assessors as the deadline approached. Every eligible organisation must have their ESOS report reviewed by a qualified ESOS Lead Assessor to confirm that the report meets the scheme’s requirements.

What is a Lead Assessor?

A Lead Assessor can be either an internal team member or an external consultant, but there are some strict criteria they must meet. They must belong to an approved professional body register (a full list of approved registers can be found here). To join these registers, they must have attended and passed an ESOS training course.

Lead Assessors play a critical role in helping businesses to achieve ESOS compliance, as they review and advise on a wide range of areas, from agreeing the audit approach and analysing the overall ESOS assessment to identifying energy savings opportunities. So, it’s important for organisations to choose their Lead Assessor carefully, as the right Lead Assessor can make ESOS compliance a smooth and hassle-free process.

Finding the right Lead Assessor

Here are the key questions businesses should ask when talking to potential Lead Assessors:

  • Do they have sector-specific experience?

Businesses in different sectors are likely to have very different energy profiles – a manufacturer is likely to have significantly higher energy consumption than a small independent retailer, for example.

This means that their energy savings recommendations are typically very different too, so organisations should look for a Lead Assessor that has specific experience in their sector. If they have worked with similar organisations in the past, they should be able to identify common areas for improvement and have experience in overcoming common challenges for businesses within that sector, which could make for a quicker and simpler route to compliance.

  • Do they have a good track record?

Every eligible business is required to have their ESOS report signed off by a Lead Assessor, but three quarters of businesses that were eligible for Phase 1 needed to take remedial action to achieve compliance. This shows that not all Lead Assessors are equal, and if businesses want to ensure that they achieve compliance first time, they must check credentials when considering Lead Assessors.

Before they select an assessor, organisations should ask for proof of their abilities. At a minimum, they should find out how many ESOS assessments the Lead Assessor has previously carried out, and what their compliance rate is for these assessments. They could also seek references from previous clients to ensure they are credible.

  • How can they help a business to make the most of ESOS?

A Lead Assessor’s role doesn’t have to end at sign-off – to get real value out of the ESOS process and their Lead Assessor, organisations should look for a Lead Assessor that will help them to really take advantage of the ESOS opportunity.

After Phase 1, many businesses shelved their ESOS reports and didn’t think about their energy savings recommendations again, as acting on the recommendations in an ESOS report isn’t a requirement for compliance. However, implementing these recommendations can make a real difference to businesses’ energy consumption and mitigate the effects of rising energy costs on their bottom line.

Therefore, companies should be looking for a Lead Assessor whose guidance doesn’t stop once they’ve achieved compliance, as further support with implementation of the recommendations can help businesses to really make the most of their ESOS obligations.

Looking for an external Lead Assessor?

Inenco’s highly qualified Lead Assessors helped over 320 businesses to achieve compliance in Phase 1, and their 100 percent Environment Agency compliance rate means that you can rest assured that your business is in safe hands. Head to our dedicated ESOS page to find out more.