Big businesses doubt ESOS energy savings scheme will pay dividends

ESOS Infographic Utilitywise surveyBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

Almost half – 46% – of large businesses required to comply with the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) do not think the cost will be recouped by the savings made for their business in the long-term, according to Utilitywise.

And nearly one in three (31%) said that they will only make changes to their energy usage if they can be guaranteed to see significant savings.

The research currently shows that if businesses take up ESOS recommendations there is the potential to achieve a 37% reduction on energy usage, 18% reduction on carbon and a 45% reduction on water.

Sam Davidson, Head of Consultancy Services, Utilitywise, said: “Businesses who have kick started ESOS are a lot more clued up on how much it costs and how long it will take than those who have not started the process yet.

“As the year sprints on, we are concerned some businesses will get caught out in the autumn with an unexpected cost, little time to complete ESOS in a detailed manner and, worse still, be fined for non-compliance. We welcome the legislation as a route to more businesses understanding their energy usage better, but are clear on the fact that a return on investment will only be achieved when the recommended measures are understood and implemented.”

Jo Scully, ESOS Project Manager, Environment Agency, said: “Many businesses are in the midst of their ESOS preparations and we hope to see them all benefit from the changes they may make to their businesses as a result of a more energy efficient approach.

“We have been raising awareness over the last year by sending letters to more than 14,000 organisations, holding workshops, publishing guidance on our website and setting up a dedicated helpdesk. We recommend that businesses who need to comply start the process as soon as possible.”

The Department for Energy  (DECC), which introduced the mandatory scheme, estimates that if ESOS participants reduce energy by 0.7%, this would reduce their energy bills by approximately £250 per year, to save around 3TWh per year of energy.

Utilitywise’s ESOS top tips for businesses include:

  • Have a flexible approach to ESOS and if possible, work with a provider who finds a compliance route that works for your organisation
  • Businesses are not expected to be experts in ESOS, but should work with knowledgeable and experienced suppliers who can guide them through the process
  • Completing ESOS should not be a tick-box exercise or providers chosen for speed – the benefits for businesses will come from a quality approach and service
  • Grasp the opportunity that ESOS provides – if you can better understand your current energy usage and implement changes to reduce this, you’ll see significant savings
  • Take action, this will enable businesses to realise the energy saving opportunities highlighted by the audit and reduce consumption and cost

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