For anyone who’s unaware, the second phase of the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme, ESOS, is nearly upon us.

ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) is administered by the Environment Agency. It affects organisations that employ at least 250 people, or have an annual turnover in excess of €50m (approx. £39m) and a balance sheet in excess of €43m (approx. £33.5m).

ESOS runs in four-yearly phases. If you were affected, you should have complied for ESOS Phase 1 by 29 January 2016. Phase 2 of the Scheme is now up and running (the reference period for the Phase 2 window began in January 2018 – and qualifying organisations must meet the Phase 2 compliance date of 5 December 2019.

So the news is; ESOS is back. And there are powerful reasons why any firms not already acting on Phase 2 should urgently consider doing so.

A powerful business tool; act on ESOS Phase 2

There is a subtle hint built into the titling of ESOS which will tell many businesses all they need to know; the scheme is, after all, known as the Energy Savings OpportunityScheme.

That’s the clue right there. ESOS can potently improve company performance across the country, in terms of cash savings from lower energy usage, carbon reporting wins and reputational advantage.

These opportunities are rare to find in business, and hence getting moving early on Phase 2 will lead to earlier potential to unlock the benefits.

That said, the truth is that probably not many firms are looking forward to reporting on ESOS again, or focusing on the positives.

Let’s re-examine a detail or two on why the scheme is worthy of a smile from UK PLC.

ESOS is here to help you

Most industry commentators believe that ESOS acts as a starting point for energy efficiency, which can lead to some serious financial savings.

Firms have the potential to cut energy costs across their buildings, their transport or their industrial processes. And of course the sooner you get moving, the sooner you get results.

There are some serious environmental benefits available from Phase 2. Some estimates hint 631,189,447kWh of energy could be saved; that’s equivalent to 2.8 million tonnes of CO2.

There’s more. Remember; the original ESOS Phase 1 was estimated to lead to £1.6bn net benefits to the UK, with the majority of these being directly felt by businesses.

Start the work; win the glory

Of course, reduced energy costs and net benefits don’t come without work. The initial ESOS Phase 1 suffered from some bottlenecks in terms of capacity to help with the reporting, as some companies began work too late.

If you want to ease business planning and maximise value from the ESOS process, the advice is start now. Further, this attitude will add in time to fix any elements in your Phase 2 reports if you’re found uncompliant.

And, when your reports are ready, you’ll be in the starting blocks to implement ESOS energy efficiency measures in good time too.

The Hub will update you as ESOS Phase 2 hastens towards us, and provide more advice on reporting your energy with confidence.