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What Are the ESOS Criteria?

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what are the esos criteria?

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is mandatory for a number of organisations across the UK. To make it clear which organisations qualify for the scheme, the government has outlined some simple ESOS criteria.

In this post, we’ll discuss how the scheme works, what the ESOS criteria are and the next steps to take for your organisation.

ESOS: the basics

As the name suggests, ESOS is an energy saving scheme based on the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations (2014). It requires ‘large undertakings’ to carry out a full ESOS assessment every four years, including:

  • Appointing an ESOS-approved lead assessor, internally or externally
  • Calculating the energy consumption of business activities or assets
  • Identifying areas of significant energy consumption, which account for 90% or more
  • Informing the Environment Agency of your assessment in line with ESOS regulations
  • Keeping records of assessments and reports to prove compliance

ESOS eligibility criteria

So, what is a large undertaking? Firstly, an undertaking is defined by the Companies Act (2006) as:

  • A corporate body or partnership
  • An unincorporated association carrying out a trade or business, with or without a view to profit

According to the government, a large undertaking applies to any undertaking which meets either or both of the following conditions:

  • It employs 250 people or more
  • It has an annual turnover exceeding £44 million and an annual balance sheet total exceeding £38 million

It’s worth noting that before Brexit, those figures were €50 million for annual turnover and €43 million for the annual balance sheet total.

When are ESOS criteria checked?

As any business owner or site manager will know, employee numbers, annual turnover and balance sheets can change over time. So when should you check whether your business meets the ESOS criteria?

You should use your organisation’s annual financial statements ending in the 12 months before the qualification date, including the qualification date itself. For ESOS phase 2, the current four-year phase, the qualification date was 31st December 2018. The next qualification date is 31st December 2022, for ESOS phase 3.

In terms of employee numbers, you should use the same methods for an annual report to Companies House – that’s the average number of people employed by an undertaking on a monthly basis in a given financial year:

  • Calculate the number of people employed by your company for each month
  • Add together the monthly totals
  • Divide the sum by the number of months in the financial year

To be clear, this includes anyone employed under a contract of service, regardless of contracted hours or status. It also includes owners, managers and partners. While agency workers are not normally classed as employees, you might want to check their contracts with a legal advisor for confirmation.

Expert help with ESOS criteria and assessments

At Volta Compliance, we understand that business owners and site managers already have enough on their to-do list. That’s why we provide specialist ESOS services throughout Leeds, to take care of the assessment process for you – including your energy audit, notification, reports and record keeping.

As well as maintaining compliance, we can help you reduce your energy use to minimise your environmental footprint and save money in the long run. Sound good? Get in touch with our team on 0113 397 1361 or [email protected].

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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.