The Environment Agency’s recent changes to the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) in Phase 3 now require organisations to submit Energy Action Plans and annual Progress Updates based on their energy-saving initiatives.

Timothy Holman, Head of Operations at TEAM Energy, provides insights into what this means for businesses working on their ESOS submissions.

Energy Action Plans detail how participants intend to enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. These plans must include estimated kWh savings for all energy-saving projects and a timeline for implementing these savings. In addition to the Action Plan, businesses must submit an Annual Progress Update to effectively communicate their sustainability achievements. This report should list all energy-saving actions implemented in the past year and those that were not successful. The update must also estimate the total energy savings achieved and confirm whether these actions were completed as planned.

Timothy Holman emphasises the importance of cost-effective and practical energy-saving measures. While initial implementation may incur costs, long-term savings can significantly outweigh these expenses. By clearly stating the expected energy savings in their Action Plan, businesses can track progress and demonstrate the impact of their efforts. Both the Action Plan and Progress Update will be published by the Environment Agency to hold businesses accountable. Details of organisations that fail to achieve their energy-saving goals or do not submit their reports will also be publicly shared.

Key Elements of an ESOS Action Plan

The Action Plan serves as a roadmap for achieving specific energy-saving actions and sustainability goals. It can guide targeted actions such as equipment upgrades, optimising processes, and encouraging behavioural changes among employees. With a focused implementation timeline, businesses can prioritise projects to meet their energy-saving goals. Organisations must estimate the savings for both cost and energy from their projects, enabling better planning for carbon reduction.

Annual monitoring and reporting are crucial for tracking progress and aligning the Action Plan with broader business objectives. Whether aiming for net zero or making changes to energy usage, businesses can celebrate their achievements annually.

Business Benefits of Energy Saving

Complying with ESOS and avoiding public disclosure or regulatory penalties is essential, but there are numerous other benefits to implementing energy-saving actions:

  • Reducing Energy Bills: Lower energy consumption leads to significant savings on business energy overheads.
  • Understanding Energy Usage: Gaining insights into energy consumption helps identify improvement areas.
  • Enhanced Reporting: Improved energy consumption reporting provides valuable information for stakeholders.
  • Reducing Carbon Emissions: Lowering carbon emissions decreases the environmental impact of the business.
  • Achieving Sustainability Targets: Meeting carbon reduction and net zero targets enhances the company’s reputation as a sustainability leader.
  • Public Recognition: Publishing Action Plans and Progress Updates publicly demonstrates a commitment to energy efficiency, helping businesses stand out among competitors.
  • Driving Positive Change: Integrating energy-saving measures into business plans promotes positive environmental change.

By adopting these practices, businesses can not only comply with regulatory requirements but also drive significant financial and environmental benefits.