ESOS Audit in Data Centres and How it Can Help Cut your Bills.
In 2014, the Government began the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS), with a view to enabling businesses to fall in line with the EU Efficiency Directive relating to Climate Change. It is mandatory scheme for large enterprises that requires an audit be carried out on its own energy efficiency and a subsequent report to be produced. They have now re-launched the scheme that has been dubbed ESOS 2. An ESOS audit in Data Centres would make complete sense in this instance.
There was some uncertainty as to the future of the original scheme. ESOS was one of the policy measures under consideration as part of the previous government’s 2015 energy efficiency tax landscape review. The regulations now require all other large UK organizations to take three important steps before the compliance date of 5 December 2019.
The alternative is that organisations can comply automatically. The main way to do this is to prove that they have achieved certification to ISO 50001, (the international standard for best practice energy management, across their organisation.
Organisations that fall under ESOS regulations can now start conducting audits to identify their energy efficiency opportunities for Phase 2, or move forward with implementing ISO 50001.
Organisations aren’t yet able to start collecting the data for reporting their total energy consumption. This can only begin at the start of 2018, because ESOS compliance requires 12 months of total energy consumption includes and up to the qualification date of 31 December 2018.
What qualifies as a large enterprise?
Companies employing more than 250 staff or revenue exceeding €50m per year are considered to be ‘large enterprises’ and as such, an ESOS assessment is a mandatory requirement. Smaller companies can participate, but it is purely on a voluntary basis.
Whichever category your business falls into, the requirements of the assessment remain the same. It must provide: A complete review of a company’s overall energy usage and relative intensity identification of energy saving opportunities and quantification of the savings involved
Who is the assessment performed by?
Someone with the relevant ESOS accreditation is needed to carry out the assessment. This could be an individual from your own company or a 3rd party consultant, but in either case, the person needs to have the required level of professional expertise.
There used to be a degree of ambiguity around the subject of competency. That was until the British Standards Institute released a document called PAS 51215 governing the minimum competency levels for an ESOS assessor.
To be an ESOS assessor, an individual must be able to demonstrate competence relating to guidelines set down in PAS 51215, which includes a minimum of 2 years professional experience in assessment and energy audits.
Of course, should you employ an external contractor, then you have the necessary skills in place, but if you would prefer to keep it in-house, then training can be taken at sites like https://www.stroma.com/certification/training at your own convenience. Just bear in mind that it will take a long time before that person is completely qualified and ready to conduct your audits.
What does my company gain from an ESOS assessment?
Should your company be one that meets the criteria of a ‘Large Enterprise’, then the first and most immediate benefit is that you won’t get fined anywhere between £5,000 and £90,000 for non-compliance. A compelling reason, we think you’d agree. However many would see the naming and shaming option as far worse!
Planning will help to avoid some of the problems and fines that occurred during the first phase of ESOS, where approx 2,800 organisations advised they would be late in reporting compliance, and several were fined.
In Phase 1 of the scheme only 16 % were fully compliant. 75% of audited participants needed to undertake remedial actions to become compliant. One in twenty organisations were considered as non-compliant.
To make matters worse (in England) there were approx 500 organisations that qualified for ESOS in Phase 1 but had not had done anything to do with the scheme (they ignored it!). So far this has meant more than 300 enforcement notifications sent out to date, with more on the way. Lesser known is that Civil penalty proceedings have now been commenced against many non-compliant organisations.
Huge benefits to your Data Centre operation
Aside from ensuring you’re ESOS compliant, the benefits associated with identifying whether your datacentre is running as energy efficiently as it can, are far-reaching and could save you a lot of money in energy bills. Recent Data shows that Data Centres are considered one of the worst offenders when it comes to Energy Consumption, however the savings can be hugely beneficial.
Recent industry research has determined that many Data Centres are running computer room air conditioning (CRAC) systems far colder than they need to be. What is seen to be happening is that despite advances in server technology, meaning that IT equipment can run in higher ambient temperatures, CRAC systems are typically being set to unnecessarily low temperatures.
This approach could be seen as literally ‘burning money’.
An ESOS assessment will help you identify exactly what your Data Centre status is. Datacentres are known to be power-hungry at the best of times, so the last thing you need is to be adding to the problem by neglecting to address any inefficiencies it may have.
How often should an assessment be carried out?
Should your ESOS energy audit be mandatory due to the size of your business, the mandatory requirement stipulates that one must be carried out every 4 years. The findings of this assessment then need to be given to the Environmental Agency within a given time frame. Non-compliance carries a pretty hefty penalty, so it is important that you find out when the deadline is and stick to it.
Here at ITE Projects, we have extensive experience in innovative Data Centre Air Conditioning and Power usage services and enjoy a reputation as a leader in this field. From planning & construction to security & maintenance, our expert team is able to combine cutting edge technology with four decades of expertise to deliver high quality, integrated end to end solutions.
If you have any questions about anything discussed here or are worried about your ESOS compliance, then please give us a call at our office on 01252 811441 or visit our website www.iteprojects.com for more information.
Talk to us today, for a better, more efficient future.