It has taken some time for the UK’s legislative powers to digest the EU Energy Efficiency Directive of 2012, but in September 2014 we finally saw some movement. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) was introduced, requiring large companies in the UK to undertake comprehensive assessments of energy use and energy opportunities at least once every four years.
What ensues will certainly be of interest in 2015, as businesses begin to mobilise in advance of the first compliance deadline on December 5th.
In achieving energy targets – the UK is legally committed to achieving 15% of energy demand from renewable sources by 2020 – it presents opportunities for energy-efficiency orientated companies in the building services industries to offer sound advice on how compliance can be achieved.
As is often the case with these legislative procedures, the criteria which define a ‘large company’ is confusing. Essentially, it is aimed at large undertakings that employ at least 250 people, or have a turnover of €50 million. Businesses are the primary focus, but it does also extend to occasional public sector bodies such as some universities.
Compliance is complex, but in short the procedure is as follows:
+ Measure total energy consumption for buildings, industrial processes and transport
+ Identify areas of significant energy consumption
+ Identify cost and energy efficient recommendations for areas of significant energy consumption
+ Report compliance to the Environment Agency
It is logical to assume that in many cases, the buildings these companies occupy are the main sources of energy inefficiency.
The Carbon Trust estimates that heating and hot water can account for 60% of total energy use in commercial buildings. Such a mammoth percentage means that a survey of a building’s heating system should be a top priority, but it shouldn’t stop there. The same report shows that ventilation accounts for approximately 30% of total heat loss. If you replace the heating but neglect the ventilation, you would be failing to maximise the potential energy savings. Both need to work in harmony, which is tricky to address without a knowledgeable consultant.
This assessment initiative is designed to make companies look at energy saving measures in how they heat their buildings. Not only will it make them aware of the impact on the environment, but it will shed some light on financial efficiencies that are present within their businesses.
But, of course, buildings don’t use energy – people do. Implementing efficient heating and ventilation systems that are aligned with what people need and how people work is key.
Here at Jaga, our team have had plenty of experience in helping to specify replacements for inefficient heating systems in buildings that would meet these criteria. Identifying the damage through an ESOS assessment is one thing, but rectifying it takes an experienced partner. To take look at projects we’ve been involved with, visit our case studies page.
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