The increasing introduction and overlap of energy and carbon reduction schemes is “causing business concern” according to a consultation response to Government’s proposed Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), recently submitted by IEMA.

The proposed Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) aims to address requirements of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive which requires all Member States to introduce a regime of regular energy audits for ‘large enterprises’. The intention is to address a perceived information gap and in so doing promote the uptake of cost-effective energy efficiency measures.

In our response to the consultation - developed in collaboration with 150 energy and sustainability professionals from our 15,000-strong membership – IEMA acknowledges the value of energy audits especially for those new to energy management. However there are concerns about further regulation from many professionals within businesses already reporting on GHGs or within the CRC or other compliance schemes.

"The new ESOS proposals are being introduced into what is already a very busy policy landscape. Our response clearly states that we do not wish to see any important policy drivers lost without adequate replacement. However many practitioners do now want to see a more streamlined and complimentary policy suite, underpinned by effective long-term fiscal drivers such as a carbon tax equitably applied, addressing competitiveness concerns and which supports action by providing investment certainty and confidence.

IEMA’s response supports flexibility within the proposals, especially for companies already regulated by the Carbon Reduction Commitment and existing energy and carbon compliance schemes. Many of IEMA’s practitioners highlighted that enterprises most likely to benefit from the scheme are likely to be those currently outside of existing carbon compliance schemes, those companies towards the lower end of the regulated threshold and those with historically lower energy consumption and less energy management experience.

The full IEMA response also advocates the role of qualified and experienced energy assessors in the scheme, of which there is a possible shortage. IEMA members advise DECC that rigorous investment in suitable training programmes, as well as the publication of formal guidance, for those with energy responsibilities is vital to this scheme’s success.