ESOS is run by the Environment Agency (EA) and is intended to encourage large organisations to achieve energy savings, by forcing them to go through a process of formally identifying energy savings opportunities and reporting on them to the EA. Large organisations are deemed to be those that either employ more than 250 people or have a balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro (£s equivalent) and an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro (£s equivalent).

Many independent schools employ more than 250 people and therefore became liable for ESOS Phase 1 and ESOS Phase 2. ESOS Phase 1 was completed in 2016, whilst ESOS Phase 2 had a compliance deadline of 5 December 2019.

We worked on behalf of the following schools to prepare their ESOS assessments for compliance on 5th December 2019: Sherborne Girls, Stockport Grammar School, Prior Park Schools, Gresham’s School, King’s Bruton & Hazelgrove School and St George’s College Weybridge.

The collection of energy data – including, heat, power and transport – was inevitably an onerous task for school support staff but we worked together with each school and Paul Sentobe, our experienced Lead Assessor, to achieve full and informative ESOS reports which have now been registered with the EA for compliance.

The ESOS reports identify different savings opportunities: from behavioural e.g. switching off lights & computers, introducing more system controls, through to installing low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps and biomass. Naturally the old chestnut of converting all lighting to LEDs featured in some reports, but most schools are already working through the conversion of their stock. We look forward to working with the schools as appropriate following the results of the ESOS.