Companies and organisations that have taken first steps with the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) now need to finish the journey and reap big financial rewards.
The dust is beginning to settle on ESOS after a final compliance deadline at the end of last year but there is a clear danger that the scheme will be completely buried by inertia – and it’s not hard to see why.
For the 6000+ companies that have followed directives from the Environment Agency and completed full energy audits by ESOS Lead Assessors, the strong temptation now is to do nothing because there is no compunction to act.
That would be a commercial mistake.
The Government’s purpose, it seems, was to alert companies to the great financial benefits of energy and water efficiency without over-burdening organisations with compulsory directives.
So there is no need to act until the next round of energy auditing in four years’ time – but all the evidence gathered around the introductory ESOS phase points to a clear and urgent need for firms and organisations to act swiftly. And we’re here to provide expert process management and guidance.
While some businesses have indicated that the next step will be to put the ESOS evidence packs on a high shelf for 48 months, others have at least been made aware of the sound business case for action while not knowing exactly how to move forward.
As our partner the Carbon Trust has identified, there are excellent energy-saving opportunities with quick returns for the large businesses. The prize for those who act now is a 15-20% reduction in overall energy/water costs with a large number of simple actions that will provide payback in just two years.
Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change have indicated that ESOS could save businesses £250 million in total with only a 5% reduction in energy/water consumption so the spur to act is obvious.
Companies would generate savings of around 13 times the cost of compliance by taking action based on ESOS reports, according to the Government.
With that in mind, it is the “low hanging fruit” that should focus the minds of forward-thinking companies. No business under ESOS can now convincingly claim that there is no strong financial case for action on energy and water efficiency.
Honing in on the quick wins like LED lighting, HVAC controls and efficiency of motors through Variable Speed Drives, along with water-savings from products like eco taps and eco showers will provide demonstrable cuts in consumption and swiftly accumulating savings on bills.
From our experience, savings on these technologies can be impressive, with LED generating 70% savings and more, HVAC controls reducing costs by more than 40%, water savings of more than 60% and motor efficiencies generating 50% savings.
But it’s understood that there is an opportunity cost, a widespread confusion on what to do next and how to formulate a commercially acceptable plan. For that, a great many companies are searching for a clear steer.
Effective energy savings
At SaveMoneyCutCarbon, we have the experience, knowledge and resources to help firms navigate their way to a sustainable, effective energy and water savings with rapid Return on Investment. The team here is in a unique position as an end-to-end solutions provider.
That means we can fully manage everything from survey to project planning and management, specification of best-in-breed products, installation and monitoring to take the strain off your time and resources while minimising initial costs.
And this service includes identification and management of financing options.
It is also clear that ESOS is just one strand of the national and international focus on the urgent need to reduce energy and water consumption in the drive to reduce carbon emissions permanently while managing precious resources effectively.
The Government will need to introduce other and probably more directive regulations under an evolving legislative framework, including taxation. Companies and organisations that act now on ESOS recommendations will be ahead of the field as and when new laws reach the statute books.