Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Compliance

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) was introduced to incentivise large UK based businesses to implement energy saving measures and help reduce the UK’s carbon emissions as we work towards becoming net zero by 2050. The scheme requires affected businesses to carry out energy surveys accompanied by cost-effective recommendations to reduce energy demand and improve their energy efficiency. It is a mandatory requirement for organisations that must comply to produce an audit over a 12-month period once every four years.

The ESOS scheme, including Phase 3, is currently in consultation with the UK Government and therefore may see some changes to the compliance requirements. The results of the consultation are expected to be published in the first half of 2022.

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Who needs to comply with ESOS?

Companies need to comply if they are:

SMEs and public-sector bodies are generally exempt from the ESOS scheme.


ESOS Energy Scheme Compulsory Phases

We are currently in Phase 3 of the scheme. Audits must be completed and reported to the Environment Agency by 5 December 2023. However, if you need support with any of the Phases, we are here to help.

The timings of each ESOS phase is shown here:

Qualification Date4 Year Compliance PhaseCompliance Date
Phase 1 31 Dec 20146 Dec 2011 – 5 Dec 20155 Dec 2015
Phase 231 Dec 20186 Dec 2015 – 5 Dec 20195 Dec 2019
Phase 3 31 Dec 20226 Dec 2019 – 5 Dec 20235 Dec 2023


What is changing in ESOS Phase 3?

The UK Government is conducting a consultation to strengthen the ESOS scheme, improve the uptake of energy efficiency measures and increase the benefits for participating businesses. The results of the consultation are expected to be published by Spring 2022.

Proposed changes include the expansion of the scheme to include medium sized enterprises and the alignment of ESOS with the Streamlined Energy Carbon Reporting Scheme (SECR). They also include stricter site sampling requirements, ensuring auditors are appropriately trained to meet the required standards, and reporting to include how energy management and behaviour change can improve the results. As well as steps to further encourage business investment in energy efficiency and net zero measures to align with the UK’s climate change commitments.

Learn more about ESOS Phase 3. 

Will there be an ESOS Phase 4?

Proposals within the consultation include the introduction of a Phase 4 to the ESOS scheme. If Phase 4 goes ahead, the compliance year will run in 2027.

How can our ESOS service help you?

Our team of CIBSE Accredited Low Carbon Assessors, Low Carbon Consultants and ESOS Lead Assessors can help you make the most of the ESOS energy scheme. They gained valuable insights during ESOS Phase 1 and 2 in supporting clients through the Environment Agency audit, which will benefit businesses in the ESOS Phase 3 compliance process.

Our team of lead assessors can support you in the following ways:

A very friendly and professional service, the team were able to support us in meeting a very tight deadline.

Iain Bruce, Director, Retail Marketing Group Limited

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What happens if I miss the ESOS scheme deadline?

If a qualifying organisation doesn’t meet the deadline, they can expect to receive a basic fine of £50,000, plus an additional fine of £800 per day up to a maximum of 80 days.

ISO 50001 as a route to ESOS compliance

The ISO 50001 Energy Management System can be used as a route to achieving ESOS Compliance. This can be a more cost effective solution for organisations with a large number of buildings to audit. By becoming certified to ISO 50001, you will be required to gather accurate data on energy usage with your organisation, which means that if your organisation is required to comply with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), you already hold the data needed and you do not need to carry out an ESOS assessment or appoint an ESOS lead assessor. However, you will need to tell the Environment Agency that you are compliant.

Find out more about ISO 50001 Energy Management System.

For more information, simply call us on 01908 690018 or contact us.