Happy New Year - Yes it is now 2018, which amongst other things, means that you can now start to prepare for the second phase of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). The energy audit for the next phase of ESOS must be completed and submitted before December 5, 2019.

If you are sure you will qualify for the scheme, you can begin the compliance process right away – by commissioning your energy audits now and avoiding the rush closer to the deadline. Although the calculation of your organisations’ total energy consumption needs to include energy use for December 31, 2018, the energy audits can be started now, using earlier energy data.

But what should you do to get the most from the phase 2 audit? If you employ your auditor to find energy savings opportunities, then the last thing you want is for them to spend most of their time scrabbling about for information. Instead you want them to be spending their time saving you energy (and money). The better the information you supply to them, the deeper they can analyse it for opportunities. Here are five top tips to get you on your way:

1. Ensure your consumption data is correct, there are no billing anomalies and there are no missing invoices. Check all fuel consumption is covered – yes even the diesel used for testing the generator. You will need 12 months data, but ideally you will be able to provide three years’ worth or more. Don’t forget your transport consumption – even if it is negligible (de minimis under the regulations). Grey fleet costs (employees paid expenses for using their own cars on business) also need to be included in the transport figures.

2. Install sub-metering or read those sub-meters that are hidden around your factory. If energy consumption is broken down into areas or even better by consumers, this is very valuable information for an auditor. Collate data from the sub-meters for 12 months or more (to capture seasonal variations in the weather and production).

3. Request interval energy consumption data from your energy supplier, which should be available if you have automatic meter reading. The detail of when the energy is used can highlight when it has been wasted. This can be in the form of half hourly, hourly or 15 minute energy consumptions.

4. Record production output on a monthly basis – or ideally more frequently. If you make different products of varying energy intensity, record the monthly output of each type (or group of similarly intensive products).

5. Collate an asset list of main plant, equipment and machines. This should include a description, make and model, electrical rating and year of manufacture. Additional information such as cycle time on machines would also be helpful.

By providing your auditor with the best information you can before they visit site, you are allowing them to concentrate on energy management and energy savings whilst they are with you. This is the best use of their time and your money.

Whilst you are in preparation mode, it would be worthwhile considering carrying out your audit early. By undertaking the majority of the required work in advance, companies can avoid the unseemly rush to comply in late 2019 when the cost will rise and there will be reduced lead assessor availability. In contrast, carrying out an audit in 2018 will likely be more competitive, there will be a better choice of lead assessors and dates when site visits can be made, and you can save energy sooner. It pays to plan ahead.

This blog was written by Sarah Clenshaw, WSP  Associate for Energy, Waste & Sustainable Places

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