2015 ESOS Guidelines Chapter 3 ? The ESOS Assessment

ESOS operates in tandem with the ISO 50001 (Energy Management) system that encourages continual improvement in the efficient use of energy. Any UK enterprise qualifying for ESOS that has current ISO 50001 certification on the compliance date by an approved body (and that covers the entire UK corporate group) may present this as evidence of having completed its ESOS assessment. It does however still require board-level certification, following which it must notify the Environment Agency accordingly.

The Alternate ESOS Route

In the absence of an ISO 50001 energy management certificate addressing comprehensive energy use, a qualifying UK enterprise must:

  1. Measure Total Energy Consumption in either kWh or energy spend in pounds sterling, and across the entire operation including buildings, industrial processes and transport.
  2. Identify Areas of Significant Energy Consumption that account for at least 90% of the total. The balance falls into a de minimis group that is officially too trivial to merit consideration.
  3. Consider Available Routes to Compliance. These could include ISO 500001 part-certification, display energy certificates, green deal assessments, ESOS compliant energy audits, self-audits and independent assessments
  4. Do an Internal Review to make sure that you have covered every area of significant consumption. This is an important strategic step to avoid the possibility of failing to comply completely.
  5. Appoint an Approved Lead Assessor who may be internal or external to your enterprise, but must have ESOS approval. This person confirms you have met all ESOS requirements (unless you have no de minimis exceptions).
  6. Obtain Internal Certification by one of more board-level directors. They must certify they are satisfied with the veracity of the reports. They must also confirm that the enterprise is compliant with the scheme.
  7. Notify the Environment Agency of Compliance within the deadline using the online notification system at snapsurveys.com as soon as the enterprise believes is fully compliant.
  8. Assemble your ESOS Evidential Pack and back it up in a safe place. Remember, it is your responsibility to provide proof of the above. Unearthing evidence a year later it not something to look forward to.

The ESOS assessment process is largely self-regulatory, although there are checks and balances in place including lead assessor and board-level certifications. As you work through what may seem to be a nuisance remember the primary objectives. These are saving money and reducing carbon emissions. Contact Ecovaro if we can assist in any way.

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IT Transformation Defined

Businesses depend on IT to effectively manage business processes and to provide products and services to clients. As IT technologies advance, it is crucial that businesses update their hardware to remain competitive. But businesses should do more than simply upgrade their servers and should really strive to effect IT transformation.

What is IT Transformation?

IT transformation is the ongoing process of changing the way that a company uses IT to better align it with current business goals. Through the IT transformation process, businesses try to determine whether they are meeting mission-critical benchmarks through the incorporation of new IT technologies for corporate transformation.

For example, if one of the current business concerns is whether the company can improve customer service, the IT system will need to evolve in such a way that improves customer service in a measurable way.

Successfully Aligning the Technology to Business Goals

In order to successfully align the IT system with business goals, it is important to understand the newly integrated technologies to understand how they can change business processes. If a new feature is intended to make the server more secure, the management should know exactly how the feature will improve the security of the server and whether the new implementation is redundant.

Once the business objectives have been identified, IT transformation is carried out by changing both the software and hardware used by the company. An example would be the growing trend of server migration to the cloud. Cloud computing is the growing trend of making files and data accessible from anywhere. If an organisation believes that it can improve productivity through a server cloud migration, it will need a way to test this.

The IT Transformation Process

Given that IT transformation is directly related to the core business, the IT transformation process must begin by identifying which aspects of the company must be changed. Then, the company must determine?IT services that could potentially be integrated into the business in a way that will help the company achieve benchmarks. After the key decision-makers understand the IT network well enough to effectively implement it, the company must efficiently manage the transformation process. Then, after the IT has been integrated, the company must have a system in place to measure business transformation in a numerical way.

For example, when assessing customer satisfaction, one effective strategy would be to distribute customer satisfaction surveys that ask customers to rate their experiences on a scale of one to ten. The company can then measure the results of the customer satisfaction survey to determine whether the new IT implementations are accomplishing their intended goals.

If the expected benchmarks are not being met, the next step in the IT transformation process is to determine if there is a specific reason for that. Is there a way that the feature can be better integrated to achieve desired business objectives? Are there other features that can help the company better achieve its goals?

Upgrading a network can be an expensive process and it is important to identify early on which options are the most likely to benefit the company’s bottom line.

ESOS What is the Truth?

When the UK administration introduced its ESOS Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme reactions from business people followed a familiar theme.

  • Do nothing it will go away
  • The next Westminster will drop this
  • Another stealth tax. I don’t have time for this
  • Give the problem to admin and tell them to fix it

ecovaro decided to share three facts with you. These are

(1) ESOS is not a government money spinner

(2) all major political parties support it, and

(3) it is a cost-effective way to put money back in your pocket while feeling better about what business pumps into the environment.

Four More ESOS Facts

1. You Cannot Give the Problem to Admin ? Energy is technical. The lead belongs with your operations staff because they understand how your systems work. Some things are best outsourced though. ecovaro is here to help.

2. ESOS is Not Going to Go Away ? A company inside the regulation net must submit its first report by 6 December 2015. Non-compliance risks the following penalties:

  • ?5,000 for not maintaining adequate records
  • ?50,000 for not completing the assessment
  • ?50,000 for making a false or misleading statement

3. The Employee Count is the Annual Average – The employment criteria (unlike balance sheet and turnover) is the monthly average of full and part-time employees taken across the full financial year. The fact you have <250 employees in December 2015 when the first report is due does not necessarily let you off the hook.

4. The 6 December 2014 Report is No Big Deal ? When you think about it the administration is hardly likely to spend years wading through 9,000 detailed company energy plans. It has no authority to comment in any case. All that is required is for a senior director to confirm reading the document, and a lead assessor to agree it complies with the law.

Does this mean that ESOS is a damp squib? We do not think so, although some firms may take the low road. ecovaro believes the financial benefits will carry the process forward, and that the imperative to make the world a better place will do the rest.

New Focus on Monitoring Soil

There is nothing new about monitoring soil in arid conditions. South Africa and Israel have been doing it for decades. However climate change has increased its urgency as the world comes to terms with pressure on the food chain. Denizon decided to explore trends at the macro first world level and the micro third world one.

In America, the Coordinated National Soil Moisture Network is going ahead with plans to create a database of federal and state monitoring networks and numerical modelling techniques, with an eye on soil-moisture database integration. This is a component of the National Drought Resilience Partnership that slots into Barrack Obama?s Climate Action Plan.

This far-reaching program reaches into every corner of American life to address the twin scourges of droughts and inundation, and the agency director has called it ?probably ?… one of the most innovative inter-agency tools on the planet?. The pilot project involving remote moisture sensing and satellite observation targets Oklahoma, North Texas and surrounding areas.

Africa has similar needs but lacks America?s financial muscle. Princeton University ecohydrologist Kelly Caylor is bridging the gap in Kenya and Zambia by using cell phone technology to transmit ecodata collected by low-cost ?pulsepods?.

He deploys the pods about the size of smoke alarms to measure plants and their environment.?Aspects include soil moisture to estimate how much water they are using, and sunlight to approximate the rate of photosynthesis. Each pod holds seven to eight sensors, can operate on or above the ground, and transmits the data via sms.

While the system is working well at academic level, there is more to do before the information is useful to subsistence rural farmers living from hand to mouth. The raw data stream requires interpretation and the analysis must come through trusted channels most likely to be the government and tribal chiefs. Kelly Caylor cites the example of a sick child. The temperature reading has no use until a trusted source interprets it.

He has a vision of climate-smart agriculture where tradition gives way to global warming. He involves local farmers in his research by enrolling them when he places pods, and asking them to sms weekly weather reports to him that he correlates with the sensor data. As trust builds, he hopes to help them choose more climate-friendly crops and learn how to reallocate labour as seasons change.

Ready to work with Denizon?