On 17 February 2015 the Environment Agency issued guidance on how to comply with the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (“ESOS”). The guidance replaces the earlier guidance issued by DECC in 2014. The new guidance should be used in order to assess whether organisations fall within the scheme, how groups should be assessed and available routes to compliance. It is hoped that the new guidance will provide further clarification in some instances. 

For those organisations affected by ESOS, the compliance deadline of 5 December should not provide false comfort as identifying the energy information available, assessing the correct organisational group and securing compliance options before 5 December may be challenging in some instances. Those organisations who have not yet considered whether they are impacted by ESOS should review their position immediately. Those who know that ESOS applies should ensure that they have considered all aspects of their relevant group and, in the case of large portfolios, that a coherent approach is being adopted across organisations. 

In addition to clear candidates such as manufacturers, industrial activities, transport and service sector businesses, ESOS also potentially affects trusts, private equity, PFI and asset management sectors. It is important that the correct group is identified in these scenarios and not simply on an individual organisation level. For landlords and tenants which are in the scheme there should be communication on how buildings are to be assessed so that there is no duplication or omissions in energy coverage. 

Where organisations are operating in other EU member states there should be consideration of how similar schemes apply in those jurisdictions and any additional compliance obligations. 

Our more detailed article on ESOS is available here
The new guidance is available here