Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Carl Turbitt, ABB's UK HVAC Drives Team Leader writes: With the release of the official 13 ESOS approved assessment bodies, there are many questions around the exact role of an ESOS assessor.

Who can carry out an ESOS audit?

Auditors belonging to any one of these ESOS assessment bodies can now carry out the necessary audit work to help your business comply with the ESOS scheme.

Companies can also choose to employ their own in-house ESOS assessor provided that they are on the list of an approved register.  To do this they will need to meet certain requirements set out by the Publically Available Specification (PAS) 51215 entitled ‘Energy efficiency assessment –
Competency of a lead energy assessor‘.

The only thing to bear in mind for companies that appoint an in-house assessor is that the final ESOS audit submitted to the Environment Agency will have to be signed-off by two members of the board instead of just one.

Where can I find an ESOS lead assessor?

There is a list of approved assessor registers on the Environment Agency website, with links through to the organisations they belong to.

Once appointed what will a lead assessor do?

An assessor, an appointed third party or in-house person, will help businesses understand how best to analyse the energy they use and assess the methodology and tools used to ensure the data gathered for ESOS audits complies with the terms of the scheme.

The ESOS assessor will:

Assess energy data, data management and how energy is used
Identify any potential cost effective energy saving opportunities

Recommendations should include an estimated cost and the expected benefits to the business.

When do I have to appoint an assessor by?

It is strongly recommended that companies get in touch with one of these companies and appoint an ESOS lead assessor immediately.  The qualification date has passed and businesses will now know whether they qualify for an ESOS audit or not.  If they do, they must then submit an ESOS audit report to the Environment Agency on 5th December 2015.

How often will an ESOS audit have to be done?

The scheme runs in 4 year cycles and there are currently 3 phases of the scheme outlined by the UK government:

The start date is the date the phase of the scheme enters into force, with the end date signifying when the phase closes.

The qualification date is the date by which companies must have assessed their requirement to comply with ESOS, and the compliance date is then when companies affected must submit their ESOS audit report to the Environment Agency.

The compliance date is the important one, as submission of an ESOS report after this date will result in a civil penalty, which can be substantial and escalate the longer companies are outside of the deadline.

Can any data from other energy audits be used to help with our ESOS assessment?

The good news is, yes, the data your business already has under other energy efficiency schemes can be used as part of an ESOS audit.  Data from the following can be used as part of your ESOS audit:

  • EU Emissions Trading Scheme
  • CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme
  • Display Energy Certificates
  • Green Deal Assessments
  • Climate Change Levy
  • Greenhouse Gas Reporting

Companies that hold the ISO50001 Energy Management standard are exempt from an ESOS audit, as the scope of this ISO standard covers all the requirements of the ESOS scheme and more.

However businesses that hold ISO50001 do still have to inform the Environment Agency of this before the 5th December 2015 deadline, and should be prepared to provide evidence of compliance should this be requested.

Can third party energy audits be used as part of an ESOS audit?

Absolutely! While one of the main elements of an ESOS audit is assessing the overall energy used by your business, another key element is the identification of cost effective energy savings.

Identifying the specific pieces of equipment and systems that can be optimised, along with the estimated costs and payback period is a key part of ESOS and is something that a lead assessor is not likely to be able to do across all areas of your business.

Therefore, there will still need to be energy audits carried out on certain systems by specialist third party companies who are able to provide the in-depth data required.

They are key to supporting the data provided for your ESOS assessment, and should continue to be appointed to carry out energy audits on your processes and equipment to make the identification of efficiency improvement opportunities an easy tick in the box when your ESOS audit takes place.

Does ABB offer an energy audit to help us comply with ESOS?

Yes! The ABB energy and productivity appraisal is one such audit and is focused on motor-driven applications, an area that accounts for two thirds of industrial electricity consumption in the UK.

Motor-driven applications are typically a significant area for most businesses in terms of energy usage and can hold the key to cost effective energy savings.

ABB energy and productivity appraisal identifies these savings by:

  1. A half-day site visit to assess the motor-driven applications (pumps, fans, compressors, HVAC systems, refrigeration systems)
  2. Identification of motor-driven applications that could save energy – monitoring is done for a period of  7 days to gather data about current operating patterns and energy usage
  3. Recommendations are made of  specific pieces of energy efficient motor and variable-speed drives that can be fitted, upgraded and replaced to achieve calculated energy savings
  4. Implementation of the recommended equipment then takes place
  5. The applications are then measured post installation to validate the savings achieved
  6. A report showing the energy savings achieved in kWh, CO2 equivalent and payback period on the investment made

Carrying out an energy and productivity appraisal will arm you with all the information you need for the cost effective energy savings element of your ESOS audit, and will also go further by providing implementable recommendations with a clear payback period on any investment made.

An ABB appraisal should be carried out immediately and allow businesses to get ahead of ESOS requirements by having a clear concise set of energy saving recommendations on hand.  To kick start your energy savings projects and get ahead of your ESOS requirements, act now and contact the ABB Energy & Productivity team to arrange your appraisal.


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