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Big businesses to undergo compulsory energy assessments

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 17 September 2013 at 8:50 am

The average big UK business could save £56,400 a year on energy bills under a government scheme to force businesses to undergo energy assessments.

At least that’s the bold claim of the department of energy and climate change (DECC) who are consulting on proposals they hope will encourage businesses to slash their energy consumption.

The obligatory assessments, entitled the energy savings opportunity scheme (ESOS), will help businesses identify cost-effective ways to invest in energy efficiency. The government predicts that an average firm who takes up the recommendations made in the assessments, could invest £15,000 a year in energy efficiency measures to bring them £54,000 a year in savings.

Under the scheme, businesses will be obliged to have an approved assessor (either an in-house expert or an external consultant) carry out an ESOS assessment every four years. The assessor will review the total energy use of an organisation including the energy use per employee, or per unit of output and look at variations in energy use over time within an organisation's key buildings, industrial operations and transport activities. The measures likely to be recommended on the back of the assessment, include updating lighting systems, replacing inefficient vehicles and encouraging staff to be more energy efficient.  

The scheme will target all non-public sector enterprises with 250 employees or more, or organisations whose annual turnover exceeds EUR50 million. Under this definition, are 7,300 UK enterprises will be affected. Small to medium sized enterprises will not be forced to participate but may opt to do so if they wish. While the assessments will be obligatory, there will be no legal requirement to implement the energy saving measures identified.

Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker, said: “These new energy saving assessments will help our largest firms identify where money can be saved by installing energy efficiency measures. The potential benefits of cutting down on energy waste are significant - £1.9 billion benefits to the UK as a whole.”

Businesses are being asked to take part in a consultation on the details of the scheme. The consultation will run until October 3, 2013. The initial assessments must be undertaken by December 5, 2015.

The proposals form part of the Government's implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, under which large enterprises have to identify cost-effective ways to invest in energy efficiency.

The new scheme will run alongside the government’s other existing non-domestic energy saving initiatives such as the non-domestic green deal, electricity demand reduction and enhanced capital allowances for energy-saving plant and machinery. 

More information

The YouGen guide to energy saving


Photo Credit: lloyd89 via Compfight cc

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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2 comments - read them below or add one

Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 13 December 2013 at 9:31 am

Hi alan_wood

The consultation is now closed and I am told that DECC intend to publish the results in spring 2014. EU law dictates that big businesses must submit themselves to energy assessments from December 2015, so it's just a question of the UK ironing out the details, hopefully based on the outcomes of the consultation, and then putting in place the relevant legislation.

On your second question, whilst energy comparison companies are a little outside YouGen's remit, we'd always advise shopping around - whether you're an individual or a big business. Use the comparison companies and then approach the utility companies direct and see who can offer you the best package. I'd be interested to hear how you get on. 

In addition, I wonder whether you might benefit from a collective switching scheme which has been shown to offer great savings on energy bills? 

Good luck!


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alan wood

alan woodComment left on: 12 December 2013 at 12:47 pm

Its a good move. Is there any update about that?

I have another question. Are the energy comparison companies useful for Large Business? I am in touch with a broker (Tower Utility). But I am not sure whether I should use their service or deal with the supplier directly.


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