As the deadline approaches for the first ESOS energy audit, British Independent Utilities (BIU), a Lancashire-based energy consultancy, is urging big business to do more than simply ‘comply’.
The firm, which counts Tesco, RBS and the NHS among its clients, argues that ESOS legislation is an opportunity for large businesses not only to make reductions in energy, but ultimately to save costs.
Under ESOS, all large businesses in the UK must carry out audits of their energy consumption every four years, with the first assessment due by 5 December 2015.
‘Reap the rewards’
Whilst many businesses are only concentrating on compliance, BIU believes that they should look at the long-term benefits that can be gained by acting upon the recommendations of audits, rather than just meeting the basic requirements.
“The audit is a measurement of all energy used across all of the company’s buildings and transport and then recommendations are provided – giving guidance on how to save energy and what additional measures can be put into place”, said Jonathan Akers, head of consultancy at BIU.
“It presents a good opportunity for many businesses to audit their energy [consumption] and make savings, and the sooner they do this, the sooner they can reap the rewards.”
As there are a number of different ways to ensure compliance with ESOS – including direct audits, Display Energy Certificates and ISO 50001 – the Government has recently published new practical guidance on how different businesses can make the most of the opportunity.
The guide, Approaches to ESOS Audits, provides best practice advice for businesses that may be newer to energy auditing, including how to exploit the ESOS framework to maximise cost saving benefits.
‘Look to the future’
“All customers have different priorities and it is important to understand and respect those”, added Akers.
“[But] we would say to businesses though that by looking to the future, it is in their interest to make considerable energy and cost savings.”