Genex sees rise in demand for ESOS assessments as deadline looms

Posted: 22.05.2023

Energy and water compliance specialist Genex, part of the Obsequio group, is seeing demand for its specialist ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) assessments ramp up as the deadline for the third phase of the government energy assessment programme approaches.

Eligible companies which fail to comply with the mandatory scheme are liable for huge fines totalling potentially tens of thousands of pounds.

Genex’s specialist ESOS assessment team will ensure not only that businesses can avoid such hefty penalties – but also benefit from financial savings if they choose to put the energy efficiency recommendations into practice. In fact, Genex was one of the first companies in the UK to gain the ESOS lead assessor qualification required to carry out energy audits and ESOS assessments.

The ESOS scheme, overseen by the Environment Agency, is aimed at reducing the UK’s carbon footprint by obliging companies with more than 250 employees or a turnover of more than  £44.1m and a balance sheet in excess of £37.9m to carry out an audit of their energy use.

This includes any use of combustible fuels, heat, renewable energy, electricity and transport fuel across all premises, industrial processes and fleet.

And while carrying out the audit every four years is mandatory – with fines for non-compliance of up to £5,000 upfront, £500 for every day it continues not to comply and up to £50,000 for making a false statement – carrying out the energy saving recommendations made via the audit is not.

While such audits could be carried out in-house, the size and nature of such a project, and the level of understanding both of energy use and of compliance regulations, combined with an understanding of precisely what the Environment Agency is after means most eligible organisations prefer to use a specialist organisation such as Genex.

Genex senior environmental consultant Wayne Maw explained: “The complexity and magnitude of an ESOS assessment means using a specialist company to carry out a compliance plan is the most effective approach for the vast majority of companies. Our expert team will carry out all energy audits and assessments to ensure compliance, prepare the necessary reports and supply a comprehensive list of energy saving recommendations. We’ll also support businesses in submitting their ESOS notification of compliance to the Environment Agency, complete with an evidence pack to demonstrate how the company has complied.

The reports will outline practical ways to minimise waste and improve energy efficiency and give details of estimated cost savings and may include suggestions such as switching to renewable energy or installing EV chargers.

The third phase of the ESOS programme, whose deadline is December 5 this year, has more stringent requirements than phase two, which was completed in 2019. This time the Environment Agency requires 95% of a company’s energy usage to be audited, compared with 90% four years ago. It also requires a completely new audit to be carried out – rather than just an updated version of the 2019 edition.

Genex is also suggesting companies look beyond the phase 3 requirements and start preparing for phase 4 of the scheme which will call for a decarbonisation plan.

“Forward-thinking organisations will already be looking at ways they can massively reduce their carbon footprint, getting in ahead of the phase 4 deadline in 2027, which will mean they can start making energy savings four years earlier than required,” added Wayne.

Find out more about Genex ESOS assessments here.

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