Following in-depth discussion of the UK’s ESOS response, we decided to backtrack to the source, especially since every EU member is facing similar challenges. The core purpose of the directive is to place a pair of obligations on member states. These are
- To promote the availability of energy audits among final customers in all sectors, and;
- To ensure that enterprises that are not SMEs carry out energy audits at least every four years.
Given the ability for business to look twice at every piece of legislation it considers unproductive, the Brussels legislators took care to define what constitutes an enterprise larger than an SME.
Definition of a Large Undertaking
A large undertaking meets one or both of the following conditions:
- It employs 250 or more people
- Its annual turnover is more than €50 million and its balance sheet total exceeds €43 million
Rules for Energy Audits
If accredited / qualified in-house specialists are unavailable then independent experts should supervise audits. The talent shortage seems common to many EU businesses. In hindsight, the Union could have ramped up slower, especially since the first compliance date of 5 December 2015 does not leave much swing room.
ecoVaro doubts there was a viable alternative, given the urgent imperative to beat back the scourge of carbon that is threatening the viability of our planet. The legislators must have been of a similar mind when laying down the guidelines. Witness for example the requirement that penalties be ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive’.
In order to be compliant, an energy audit must
- Be based on twelve months of verifiable data that is
- over a continuous period beginning no more than 24 months before the beginning of the energy audit, and;
- identifies energy saving opportunities including paths to their achievement
- Analyse the participant’s energy consumption and energy efficiency
- Have not been used as the basis for an energy audit in a previous compliance period
Measurement of current status and progress tracing are at the core of energy saving and good governance generally. EcoVaro has a powerhouse of software tools available on the cloud to help project teams save time and money.