The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a mandatory energy assessment and energy saving identification scheme, implemented in the UK under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. Some very large agricultural and horticultural businesses are required to report from this year, together with some first processors and packers. Qualifying business criteria are over 250 employees, or an annual turnover >50 million euros (about £39m) and annual balance sheet total >43m euros (about £34m) - so only a handful of NFU members are thought to be affected.
The ESOS requirement came into effect in 2014, and qualifying organisations had to carry out their ESOS assessments by December 2015, notifying the Environment Agency (EA) administrators of their compliance with the scheme. ESOS Energy Audits must be undertaken, overseen or reviewed by a certified ‘Lead Assessor’. Failure to comply may result in 'enforcement action' including both fixed penalties and daily penalties.
By October 2015, it was widely reported that only a minority of those organisations obliged to comply had completed the process in order to meet the original deadline of 5th December 2015. Those who missed the deadline now have until 29th January 2016 to notify the EA of their plan, and to demonstrate they are making progress with that plan. A flurry of late submissions saw ESOS compliance rates surge to around two thirds of affected businesses, according to EA figures released last week.
If you are one of the 30% of businesses that have yet to respond to the ESOS requirement, it is important that you inform the EA of your intent to comply as soon as possible - this can be done easily here and here.
If you need a Lead Assessor to assist your business with ESOS compliance, we recommend that you contact the NFU Farm Energy Service on 0370 844 5700. Our delivery partners Farm Energy Centre have produced a short video guide to ESOS here.