ESOS Phase 3 – Qualification Date has Passed and Compliance is Critical

The qualification date for Phase 3 of the ‘Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme’ (ESOS) was 31 December 2022, meaning if your business is in scope for Phase 3, you must comply with the reporting criteria. Your business will be in scope of ESOS from that date if it has either or both:

  • 250 or more employees
  • An annual turnover in excess of £44 million, and an annual balance sheet total in excess of £38 million.

What is ESOS?

Large UK firms are required to report on their energy consumption and find potential methods to consume less energy under the ‘Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme’, which is a mandated programme. We are now in Phase 3 of its four-year cycle. If your company falls inside the scope of the plan, you must abide by the rules or risk fines.

What happens if you don’t comply?

Organisations who fail to comply with ESOS regulations or meet the required criteria risk facing financial penalties from the Environmental Agency (EA). The changes to legislation in 2022 have also increased the reporting requirements for Significant Energy Use (SEU) from 90% to 95%.

Additionally, with limited ESOS Lead Assessors available for ESOS Phase 3 compliance, it’s crucial for companies to act now to ensure compliance and avoid potential fines and penalties.

All non-compliance will be made public by the EA on their website, with the amount you were fined. There are different types of non-compliance all with separate breaches and various penalty amounts. These include:

  • Failure to Notify

Any organisations who do not declare they have met with their ESOS responsibilities will be punished since it will compromise the integrity of the programme. Whether or not the organisation has conducted an energy audit, they might still be fined up to £5,000 as well as a daily fee of £500 for each working day they are in violation (for a maximum of 80 days). This amount would be added to any additional penalties as well.

  • Failure to maintain records

Maintaining your records is essential so that you can carry out an energy audit and provide proof of your ESOS compliance. In the event that this is not done, there will be a £5,000 punishment as well as an “amount representing the cost to the compliance body of establishing that the responsible undertaking has complied with the plan,” which must be settled. To correct this violation, the compliance body will provide measures, which must be followed.

  • Failure to undertake an energy audit

The greatest punishment is assessed when an energy audit is not performed because it is a crucial ESOS obligation. It is worth making sure you comply if required since the fine is £50,000 as well as £500 for each working day an organisation is in violation (up to a maximum of 80 days). With a decreased fine of £5,000, new entrants are treated more leniently. Keep in mind that organisation is no longer regarded as a new participant in the ESOS program’s second phase. Additionally, corrective measures (such as doing an energy audit) must still be taken.

  • Failure to comply with an enforcement/penalty notice

Any organisation that disregards a compliance, enforcement, or penalty notice will be subject to this fine. An organisation will be subject to an initial punishment of £5,000 followed by £500 for each day that it is in breach, up to a maximum of 80 days.

  • False or misleading statement

Your ESOS evaluation and report must be factually correct and accurate. The largest penalties, again £50,000, might be expected from an organisation if the EA finds that you made a false or misleading statement.

What should you do now?

The final deadline to complete and submit your ESOS reporting for Phase 3 is 5 December 2023. Your data should be based on a 12-month period that includes the qualification date (December 31, 2022) and ends before the compliance date for ESOS Phase 3 reporting (5 December 2023). It might begin as early as 1 January 2022 and it could finish as late as 4 December 2023. Within that timeframe, any consecutive 12 months are acceptable. This is referred to as your reference period. During then, you need to:

  1. Calculate the overall energy usage of your business

You will need to calculate the total energy consumption of your business, which includes energy needed for industrial operations, building heating and lighting, and transportation fuel. These should be reported in a standard unit, such as pounds sterling or an energy unit like the kWh.

  1. Locate places with high energy consumption

You can classify up to 5% of your organisation’s energy use as “de minimis” under the ESOS regulations for Phase 3. You might decide to exclude a location, an activity, or the use of a certain fuel. You must still have a “significant energy consumption” of 95% or higher.

  1. Review the data

Your report should examine how much energy your business uses and how energy-efficient it is. It should include suggestions for potential improvements to your company’s energy efficiency and include information on their costs and advantages. For more information, please visit EIC Route Zero.

  1. Request that a lead assessor review the report

According to the ESOS regulations, a certified lead assessor is required to review your report. Several situations constitute an exception to this rule:

  • If ISO 50001 certification already covers 100% of your energy use
  • If the company uses less than 40,000 kWh of energy annually

If you have no energy supply (although you will still need to notify the Environment Agency and get a director to confirm this). Before approving it, the corporate directors and the lead assessor should both evaluate your report.

How can EIC help with your compliance needs?

Our carbon team have extensive experience with complex compliance legislation and are dedicated to helping you reach deadlines efficiently. Our Lead Assessors and highly trained Auditors are on hand to assist you throughout your compliance process.

We have assisted over 550 clients with their ESOS journey, and in doing so have identified 4.65 million tonnes worth of CO2 savings. This has meant that our clients have avoided approximately £80 million worth of fines over phase 1 and 2.

Whilst balancing other jobs and responsibilities, schemes may seem like a hassle. Fortunately, EIC can help turn that obligation into an opportunity for your organisation.

Get in touch or call us on 01527 511757 to find out how we can help you start your compliance journey.

Green business: the carbon negative revolution

In recent years, many companies across the globe have pledged to become carbon neutral and help tackle the issue of climate change. Around half of UK businesses are hoping to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

But now, companies are taking matters one step further and making the leap towards becoming carbon negative. This is a significant investment in reducing carbon emissions and this move should also bring various benefits, in terms of business strategy.

With energy prices around the country continuing to rise, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness are vital for any business wishing to progress in this difficult climate. Going carbon negative makes perfect sense in the current economy.

So, what does ‘going carbon negative’ actually mean? And how can a business achieve carbon negative status?

What is a carbon negative organisation?

Put simply, carbon negative organisations sequester more carbon than they produce. Somewhat confusingly, the term ‘climate positive’ also has the same meaning, and you may see this terminology used as well.

Choosing to become carbon negative can accelerate your business towards its net zero targets. You have reached carbon negativity if the amount of CO₂ emissions you remove from the atmosphere is greater than the amounts you are releasing into the atmosphere. This might include bioenergy processes with carbon capture and storage, for example. By changing your daily business processes and actively removing carbon from the atmosphere, you are making a positive impact – on your business and the atmosphere. Sustainability is now a corporate strategy of choice, helping businesses to strive ahead of competitors towards net zero targets. It can also form part of a wider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, which provides transparency to stakeholders.

How can businesses implement carbon negative structures?

Reduce energy use

With energy prices sky-rocketing, it is in the interests of every business to limit energy usage to only that which is necessary. Energy efficiency is the most obvious way to reduce consumption and it can bring numerous environmental and financial benefits. Transparency surrounding energy efficiency could also increase a business’s standing, in a market where consumers are becoming more aware of the environment. Energy efficiency is therefore an essential component in the journey towards net zero.

Consider encouraging employees to incorporate efficiency into their daily lives – such as switching off appliances when they leave the building, closing windows when HVAC systems are in use, and making the most of any natural light. These measures can go some way towards reducing your energy consumption.

An energy audit can assess how much energy is being used in each sector of your business. An audit typically looks at factors such as lighting, heating, water usage, air conditioning and the use of electrical devices. Ongoing performance monitoring can also provide reassurance that your systems are delivering to a good standard.

Incorporate green appliances

Installing renewable energy sources allows businesses to save money, whilst also reducing their environmental impact. Solar panels and heat pumps are also remarkably easy to upkeep.

Not only will these renewables cut costs, and reduce your environmental impact, taking these measures can also demonstrate your business’s sustainability credentials. This can potentially attract a wider range of eco-aware clients.

Switch to more efficient lighting

LED lighting is the most cost-effective and durable option, for both businesses and households around the world. Making the switch to a different lighting system for buildings, possibly on multiple sites, can seem daunting. But the eventual return on investment will be beneficial from an environmental perspective, as well as saving you time and money. These bulbs require far less electricity power and have a much longer lifespan.

At EIC, our lighting solutions have helped businesses to upgrade their systems and reduce their carbon footprints.

Get in touch today to find out how EIC can help you to integrate effective and efficient lighting solutions into your business.

Optimise heating and air conditioning

Taking control of your heating and air conditioning could make a big difference to your emission levels. Switching your systems off when they are not needed can help your business to save money and reduce unnecessary waste.

Implementing temperature controls means that heating and air conditioning units are only used when they are needed. So, no energy will be wasted during out of office hours.

Encourage greener commutes

Transport is the largest contributor of greenhouse gases in the UK, and accounts for 28% of all emissions. Consider offering a Cycle to Work scheme to encourage your employees to reduce their environmental footprint. Carpooling, public transport, and walking can also help businesses to lower their carbon footprint.

When assessing a business’s energy consumption, government schemes (such as ESOS) take into consideration the amount of energy used on transport. So, for eligible businesses, lowering energy consumption from transport is essential.

Set science-based targets

More broadly, your business should align itself with net zero targets and then go above and beyond this, to become carbon negative. The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is a well-established method for reducing carbon emissions, based on climate science. The SBTi independently assesses and approves companies’ targets in line with its strict criteria, which furthers the aims set out in the Paris Agreement. The target is to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

You can find out more here.

Offset (but beware of greenwashing)

Whilst it should not be overused, carbon offsetting is a good way to compensate for your carbon emissions. Carbon offsetting involves investing in projects that sequester carbon, such as planting trees. Offsetting will help to stabilise global temperatures in the short term, and in some cases, foster restorative projects that will act as natural carbon sinks for centuries to come.

Offsetting projects generally fall into four categories: Nature-based, renewable energy, community projects and waste-to-energy projects. You should only invest in carbon offsetting projects that have been independently verified, such as Verra or Gold Standard.

What’s more, the SBTi have recommended that carbon offsetting should only be used in the route to net zero as a transitionary and supplementary tool. When you choose EIC to help you navigate the route to net zero, we provide you with the most sustainable options and only provide carbon credits for emissions that cannot be avoided or reduced in the short term.

At EIC, we understand that your corporate social responsibility credentials are key to maintaining the reputation of your business. We offer a comprehensive Carbon Management Plan service to ensure that your business is transparent and accountable with respect to its carbon emissions.

We can help you to formulate your carbon management policy, set carbon reduction targets and measure emissions and monitor progress on an ongoing basis.

In addition, we offer a verified carbon credit scheme to assist you where you may require carbon offsetting to supplement your emissions reduction strategy.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you to become carbon compliant.

Where does EIC come in?

Achieving a carbon negative office space brings businesses a lengthy list of benefits. Aside from the potential to save money and reduce energy usage, businesses could attract a larger number of potential customers with its transparency regarding its carbon related business plans.

EIC understands that intelligent building design and frugality around resource-use work in hand in glove. As such, EIC offers a comprehensive carbon service combining building management, intelligent procure and compliance acumen.

Marriage of these three pillars means unlocking the full potential of sites, and leveraging for the benefit of all. EIC’s full offering is available on our Services page.

ESOS Phase 3 – how will the changes affect you?

In the current energy landscape, Phase 3 of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (‘ESOS’) may not be an immediate priority for your business. But while the Phase 3 deadline is not until December 2023, it is still in every business’s best interest to comply as soon as possible.

In addition, the UK government recently released the outcome of its ESOS consultation. The aim of the consultation was to raise the quality of ESOS audits, and ensure that they are consistent with net zero commitments.

In light of this, we decided to take a look at the changes to the compliance regime, and why it pays to get ahead of schedule.

The consultation focused on four core options: improving the quality of ESOS audits by strengthening minimum standards and making ESOS more standardised, looking at the role of lead assessors, how ESOS can address the net zero challenge, and public disclosure of ESOS data to encourage uptake of ESOS recommendations.

Read on to find out more…

What are the changes?

  1. There will be a standardised template for participants to include summary information, such as organisational structure, energy consumption and outlining the route to compliance.


  1. The de minimus is now 5% of total energy consumption (previously it was 10%). The de minimus is the percentage amount of your total energy consumption that can be excluded from your reporting. This is likely to bring more activities within the scope of reporting, which could lead to more energy savings.


  1. Clearer guidance on the requirements around site sampling, including clearer guidance on recommended minimum sampling levels for both number of sites sampled and percentage of total energy consumption sampled.


  1. Collection of additional data for compliance monitoring and enforcement.


  1. The addition of an overall energy intensity metric within the overview section of the report – kWh/m2 for buildings, kWh/unit out for industry and kWh/miles for transport. This also complements existing requirements under SECR and would facilitate comparison between performance in different phases.


  1. Requirement to share ESOS reports with subsidiaries.


  1. ESOS reports will need to provide more information on the next steps for implementing recommendations.


  1. Targets or action plans must be set following the Phase 3 compliance deadline – and they will be required to report against these in Phase 4.


  1. There will be an increased penalty for non-compliance – an initial penalty of up to £50k and an additional £500 per day until the company complies.


  1. From Phase 4 onwards the ESOS balance sheet and turnover thresholds will align with SECR (250 employees, or a balance sheet of £18 million or a turnover of £36 million)

The Environment Agency will also be working with ESOS professional bodies, to identify how further changes could be made to improve the quality of ESOS audits in Phase 3. This is likely to be through active monitoring of lead assessors’ work.

What does this mean for you?

While there are several changes to the compliance requirements, it is unlikely that this will require revisiting site audits that already meet the current ESOS requirements. However, businesses will be required to audit additional sites, in light of the changes to the de minimis.

Participants may also need to implement a net zero element to their audits and the government response to the consultation is that they will develop a methodology for a net zero ESOS assessment. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is currently working with the British Standards Institute (BSI) on the production of a new net zero audit standard, to facilitate this.

Participants can also implement other Phase 4 changes on a voluntary basis, in Phase 3.

What can you do to prepare?

During Phase 1, more than 40% of businesses were still not compliant, four months after the deadline. If this were to happen again, in excess of 2,800 firms would be fined – and suppliers would be forced to raise their prices again. So, it is essential that businesses that wish to comply do so as soon as possible.

The first step towards assessing your carbon footprint is to carry out an energy audit. Energy audits assess a business’s total consumption – spanning buildings, industrial processes and transport usage. You can pinpoint areas of high energy usage, and your business could make significant energy savings as a result.

We recommend that you:

  • Review your business structure and understand any anticipated changes.
  • Review your portfolio and ensure that you have a clear view of all UK responsibilities, including sites where you are a tenant, or where you have operational control.
  • Choose your ESOS compliance representatives – as a minimum, this must include a primary contact and a Company Director for sign-off.

If you have any questions about your compliance, please contact your dedicated team or alternatively contact and a member of the Carbon team will get back to you.

Where does EIC come in?

Our carbon team has extensive experience with complex compliance legislation and we are dedicated to helping you reach deadlines, efficiently and effectively. Our Lead Assessors and highly trained Auditors are on hand to assist you throughout your compliance process.

We have assisted hundreds of clients with their ESOS journey, identifying 4.65 million tonnes worth of CO2 savings. As a result, our clients have avoided approximately £80 million in fines during phases 1 and 2.

You are busy balancing other tasks and responsibilities, and we know that compliance schemes such as ESOS can seem like a hassle. Here at EIC, we can help turn that obligation into an opportunity for you.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you start your compliance journey.

Energy price rises – how can you avoid them?

Energy prices continue to reach record-breaking highs, and industry sectors around the world have been forced to prepare for high prices. Individuals around the country have been forced into energy poverty, and many businesses are teetering on the edge. As a result, businesses are desperately trying to regain control of their energy bills.

Last month our EIC experts, John Palmer (Director of Flexible Procurement) and John Dawson (Energy Trade and Market Intelligence Manager) spoke with Sumit Bose from Future Net Zero. They discussed the current events shaping the energy procurement landscape and tips on how to protect your business in a volatile market.

So, what are the best ways to future-proof your business against rising energy prices?

What can you do now?

Before you look into procurement or switching to a different contract, you should first assess your business’s current situation and how it can be improved. For example, are there any areas of your business that can reduce consumption? Can you generate your own energy on-site?

By not prioritising areas such as accurate data and energy billing management, businesses could face substantially higher, and unnecessary costs. While checking for invoice inaccuracies is essential in being efficient and financial savings, many customers simply do not have the time or resources to spot and resolve errors.

EIC expert John Palmer also pointed out that accurate billing is essential. ‘Another thing to look at is invoicing – are you actually being invoiced correctly for your energy?’ he said. ‘It’s amazing how often you find there are problems with energy invoicing, and certainly our bill validation team have found quite significant cost savings as a result of invoicing errors that have been discovered.’

At EIC, our data solutions and intelligent bureau team provide full invoice checking and bill validation for clients. Each month, we will provide you with a full analysis of your bills. Highlighting any errors, along with the actions we have taken with your energy supplier to resolve these errors. Get in touch to find out more about our bill validation services.

Buy smart

With another year of triads ahead, businesses have the choice to be flexible. Planning for long-term costs and budget forecasting is advisable, particularly when considering aspects such as onsite generation and the payback for energy efficiency projects. However, it can be hard to calculate various rates and charges in relation to a business’s specific budget.

John Dawson spoke about this topic in our recent webinar. He explained: ‘Long-term forecast reports are something that EIC can provide. Also looking at whether you can benefit from asset optimisation and demand-side response schemes, again if you’ve got that ability to be flexible with your demand then you might well be able to save some money or even make an income from those kinds of schemes.’

Accurate budgeting forecasting is especially helpful during these times, where volatile energy markets are very apparent. By building up a realistic and sustainable budget cost, businesses are able to plan further ahead and develop their future strategies more efficiently.

Decide on fixed or flexible

Deciding between a fixed or flexible contract can be difficult. It is advisable to weigh up your desire for certainty, versus the option of flexibility when procuring energy in the fluctuating markets. While a fixed contract works better for a business that wants certainty that their rates will not falter, flexible contracts allow businesses with significant costs to warrant a more sophisticated solution – giving them more fluidity.

Understanding what kind of contract, on what terms, and the timescale are all very important considerations for a business. At EIC, our dedicated energy procurement support team are on hand to manage your utility supplier relationships and ensure accurate and timely consumption data. On which you can base your contract decisions.

John Palmer went on to say that ‘in terms of the way you procure, it’s got to be right for your organisation. If you need absolute budget certainty, a fixed contract probably still is the way to go – it’s about timing when you actually fix that contract. If you’re looking at flexible contracts it’s about understanding what you’re trying to achieve with that contract and getting the right risk management strategy to give you the best opportunity to get what you need out of it.’

Where does EIC come in?

Reducing your energy consumption is a simple and effective solution to reducing costs – if you know how. Finding simple ways around constantly rising prices can often be confusing and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be.

At EIC, our goal is to help companies navigate the best routes for themselves and their business plan. We recognise that while there are many reasons as to why energy prices are rising, we can help our clients return their business strategies to normal.

We have a range of guides on topics such as procurement, energy management, fixed and flexible contracts, and many others that can help you to kickstart your journey to a more efficient and cost-effective future. Get in touch today to find out more.

Electric vehicles and the new smart charging regulations

More and more people across the UK are initiating the switch to EVs, and to help encourage this the government are reinforcing the National Grid’s resources. This will ensure that the grid can withstand an increased demand for electricity. But many people are unaware of EV Regulations, and how they are currently changing.

New UK laws will require charge points to respond to periods of high demand by slowing or delaying charging sessions. These new rules will leave drivers and vehicle owners in charge, but steer them towards a future that is significantly more sustainable.

But how will these regulations change the world of EVs, and how will this impact UK drivers and businesses?

The new regulations

The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 requires all EV chargers that are sold for domestic or workplace use across the UK, to be pre-configured. This is to encourage smarter charging behaviours amongst drivers and vehicle owners.

Chargers sold after June 30th 2022 must now have smart functionality. This will encourage drivers to charge their EVs at a time when there is less demand on the electricity grid, or when there is an abundance of renewable energy available. This should reduce the strain on the National Grid.

These functions will come pre-configured on the charger, but owners remain in control with the ability to adjust chargers to their preferred settings. The Department for Transport will review progress after the launch, informing a second phase of regulations due by the end of 2025. Later in the year they will also introduce new cyber security requirements to further protect the charger and user data.

What does this mean for you?

With twice as many plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on our roads in June 2021 compared to the end of 2019, it’s clear that the country needs to adjust to the growing popularity of EVs. But many may worry about how these adjustments will affect them in the future.

While the new regulations will bring changes for charging plans, peak-time charging will not be banned. Owners will have the option to override the settings of their charger if the default scheduling does not work for them, but for the majority of people, charging their vehicles off-peak is the smartest and most cost-efficient option.

And if you already have a charger installed at home, you do not need to worry about upgrading it. As long as it was bought before the 1st July 2022, EV owners will not have to upgrade their charging device.

Where does EIC come in?

It is becoming clearer each day that action must now be taken to protect our environment. And with the government working to make significant movements towards a sustainable future, it is clear that these green plans are being made a priority.

At EIC, we are dedicated to helping our clients make the most of the green energy alternatives on offer. For us to help ourselves, we must help those around us as well. And our green energy solutionscompliance advice, and carbon management plans can be tailored to your business’s needs.

We can also plan and install charge points across your sites. In addition, we also offer advice on converting your current vehicle fleets to electric.

Get in touch today to hear how EIC can assist you in your journey to net zero.

The importance of access to energy data

The energy grid is evolving, and systems will have to adapt as we move towards a more flexible energy landscape. Data-driven energy optimisation could be the key to business profitability, as well as deep carbon reductions.

Climate change and net zero targets are at the forefront of the minds of consumers and investors. What this effectively means, is that energy performance is now an operational and commercial priority in building intelligence. Data analytics are crucial for businesses wishing to advance this intelligence.

Let’s take a look at the benefits you can reap from taking control of your data.

Become more efficient

Accessing and understanding data across multiple sites can bring a whole host of benefits. One of the most beneficial advantages is the opportunity to run your business more efficiently.

Efficient energy management can happen anywhere at any time. Energy data and analytics need to be readily available for businesses to obtain the full advantages. Through targeting the data of your sites, you can see where you are using the most energy, when, and for what reason. This makes it easier to identify and remedy areas of waste – making your business more sustainable and future-proofed as a result.

Cut costs

Having quick and easy access to your data is essential for every company. One by-product of becoming more efficient, is the reduction of unnecessary costs. Reducing energy waste in your business automatically reduces any costs attributed to that waste. This frees up money, which can be reinvested in other areas of the business.

Effective data management will help to inform your business decisions, keep your energy costs low and help you to future-proof your sites. Understanding data – not only from your online systems, but also from your bills, for example – can help your business to avoid charges for consumption in peak demand periods, as well as identifying waste usage. Thousands of pounds can be saved through analysing data, as it can identify spikes in wasted energy usage.

Increased transparency

As we move towards a new era of sustainability in business, it is essential for organisations to be as transparent as possible with their clients and potential investors. Transparency about your sustainability efforts can help your business to connect to customers on a deeper level. Offering accountability has been proven to encourage people to opt for certain businesses over their more reserved competitors.

Research has found that 94% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that is completely transparent. With a consumer market that is focused on sustainability now more than ever, transparency in terms of sustainable goals is key.

Where does EIC come in?

Reducing your energy consumption is a simple and effective solution to reducing costs – if you know how. Finding simple ways around constantly rising prices can often be confusing and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be.

At EIC, our goal is to help companies navigate the best routes for themselves and their business plan. We recognise that while there is a broad range of reasons as to why energy prices are rising, we can help our clients return their business strategies to normal.

Get in touch today to find out more. Also, head over to our piece on the changes to the TCR mandates to find out more on how this will affect you.

REGO prices rise amidst post-Brexit uncertainty

The Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme was designed to provide consumers with transparency about the portion of electricity their suppliers source from renewable generation.

How do REGOs work?

Renewable energy generators are issued with one REGO certificate for every megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable output. This certificate is then sold with an energy contract to prove to the final customer that a share of their energy was produced from renewable sources.

Why are REGO prices rising?

In recent weeks the cost of REGO certificates has increased dramatically, leading to rising renewable electricity contract renewal prices. There are a number of factors driving the increases, including:

  • Lower levels of renewable generation than expected in the UK in the 2020–21 period, reducing the number of REGOs available on the market
  • Higher levels of demand for renewable electricity
  • End-of-year purchasing by suppliers to meet their obligations
  • Uncertainty surrounding the acceptance of European Guarantees of Origin certificates (GoOs) in future
  • Increase in wholesale electricity prices that continue to recover to pre-pandemic levels

These factors mean that customers securing renewable electricity contract renewals are likely to see their prices increase.

Are REGOs used for greenwashing?

REGOs have faced criticism for allowing greenwashing. This is because some suppliers buy power on the wholesale market, which is a mix of all sources including fossil fuels and nuclear. They then separately acquire REGOs to label this power ‘green’. Scottish Power and Good Energy have recently called for regulatory reforms to close these “loopholes” in the market.

Despite these calls for reform, a recent Cornwall Insight’s survey found that 74% of participants felt there had been no improvement in REGOs regulations.

How can EIC help?

The sharpest insights are crucial in today’s volatile markets. We work to ensure that our clients are aware of key market movements and are ready to capitalise on every opportunity.

The EIC Market Intelligence team has extensive knowledge of the electricity and carbon markets and the fundamentals driving them. Interpreting this information is a key component of a successful energy management strategy.

EIC can help your business stay ahead of the curve with market insights and smart procurement so you can make energy management decisions with confidence. To learn more, contact us at EIC today.

Learning at work week – how EIC can help

Our capacity for learning is constantly growing. As we adapt and develop, so does our desire to further educate ourselves. For this reason the Learning at Work Week campaign was created. Since launching in 1999 as Learning at Work Day, the celebrations have now been elongated to a week, and are continuing to grow each year.

The programme focuses on encouraging ‘lifelong learners’ to extend their opportunities to learn by utilising time within the work-place. This will become a vital factor in the UK’s pathway to net zero. For a company to reduce energy, costs and environmental impacts, education and teamwork is vital. While utilising renewable energy sources continues to fast track us towards our net zero targets, continuing to educate ourselves allows us to understand the world around us and what it needs to survive.

We take a look at what the national campaign consists of, how it can help in the long term and how EIC can assist you in learning at work.

What is learning at work week?

Learning at work week is an annual event that spotlights the benefits of learning within the work-place. Running from the 17th-23rd of May, the campaign aims to stimulate curiosity and deepen connections with colleagues.

This year’s theme is ‘Made for Learning’, which has been split into three strands; human = learning, human = curiosity and human = connecting. The campaign works to show that education can carry on at any age, in any place, and that there is always more to learn. The organisers of the campaign offer several online events and activities, from creative pursuits to numeracy challenges. They are also encouraging work places to set their own educational goals depending on their individual teams.

The highly celebrated week is also the perfect time to teach staff about the importance of sustainability. Following the announcement of net zero targets by many countries across the world, the focus on a green future has never been more prominent. Schools, colleges and universities are working environmental studies into their daily syllabus, so why not work-places?

Setting sustainable aims and objectives or implementing green initiatives allows workplaces to reduce energy bills at no or relatively low-cost measures. By simply educating staff on the beneficial impacts lower energy consumption could have, businesses can reduce their energy bills significantly.

EIC’s energy saving training

At EIC, we understand that education can play a huge part in paving the way for a sustainable future. Our vast experience in energy management and team training allows us to further educate employees on the importance of efficiency.

Through training in sustainable strategies, energy management and efficiency, we are able to provide our clients with a comprehensive list of educational options. These strategies allow companies to learn more about how to reduce energy usage and expenditure. We are also able to visit your organisation to train your staff (or in house trainer) on site.

Our goal at EIC is to integrate sustainability and smart energy usage into every part of your business. This is why we offer an online energy awareness course that provides education on saving energy and water in the workplace. This information comes in the form of a handy booklet, gives simple and effective ways to save energy day-to-day. Actions as simple as turning off lights when you leave a room or powering down computers overnight can make a significant difference. Whether they are big or small, every sustainable measure is helping to reduce emissions and preserve the world around us.

Some of our other available sustainable services include:

  • Assessing your businesses situation
  • Monitoring your usage
  • Setting goals
  • Creating communications
  • Measuring and displaying results

Get in touch to hear more about our energy saving training and how we can help you towards your sustainable future.

Greenwashing – what is it and why should businesses avoid it?

As the world shifts towards a more sustainable future, consumers are opting for greener alternatives. And a growing pressure to ‘get green’ means that businesses are desperate to show their values align with environmental issues. This can sometimes result in ‘greenwashing’.

Without the correct knowledge, businesses risk prioritising superficially appealing demands to satisfy conscious consumerism. But as businesses around the world pledge to sustainability, indications of greenwashing can often go unnoticed.

Persistent greenwashing can undermine the importance of sustainability. As a consumer, trying to identify eco-friendly brands can be challenging enough. And with added greenwashed businesses, this task can feel overwhelming and next to impossible.

So, what is greenwashing and how can businesses avoid it?

What is greenwashing?

Coined in 1986 by environmentalist Jay Westerveld, ‘greenwashing’ refers to misinformation provided by a business to falsely present itself as environmentally friendly.

More often than not, greenwashing happens due to a lack of knowledge. While sustainability continues to become a more prominent topic of conversation, so does the pressure to comply. This means companies are increasingly keen to exhibit their sustainable credentials, even if they don’t have environmental expertise.

Greenwashing often distracts from significant environmental issues such as climate change and pollution. It can also misdirect environmentally conscious customers towards dis-ingenuine products. This is because it can be hard to differentiate between well intentioned businesses with those that are performatively green. ‘The six sins of greenwashing’, is a list of indicators that can help consumers spot a business that has been greenwashed.

The six sins of greenwashing

The six sins of greenwashing

No proof: Claims made about a lessening of a businesses environmental impact are not verified by third party certifications.

Vagueness: Broad, insubstantial or convoluted claims such as ‘all natural’, ‘made with recycled materials’ or ‘eco-friendly’, with no further information.

The hidden trade-off: Marketing a product or service as ‘green’ by a narrow definition that disregards other environmental impacts. An example of this was fast food chain McDonald’s switch to paper straws. Although consumers may have welcomed this change initially, it was soon revealed that these straws were still unrecyclable.

Irrelevance: Although the claim may be true, it is unrelated to the company or product.

Lesser of two evils: Touting one good sustainable aspect of the business while ignoring greater environmental harm.

Fibbing: The sin of outright lying, this was seen very clearly in the case of the Volkswagen scandal of 2015. The car company admitted to cheating emissions tests by fitting defeat devices to vehicles in question. This allowed the company to use proprietary software to detect emission tests and in turn reduce levels. Whilst they were knowingly greenwashing their products, in reality they were releasing 40x the permitted limit of nitrogen oxide pollutants.

How can businesses avoid greenwashing?

In the run up to the UK’s net zero commitments, it is within everyone’s interest for businesses to become truly sustainable. Switching to renewables, incorporating low carbon tech and educating staff are some of the ways that businesses can avoid accidental greenwashing.

To promote a sustainable ethos, a business must first achieve sustainability goals. Providing customers with complete transparency not only reassures them of your reliability, but also allows for a wider range of potential clients.

Delivering real change is essential in moving towards a green future. While greenwashing allows businesses to pull in revenue in the short term, it will have serious consequences further down the line.

How can EIC help?

At EIC we prioritise sustainability and transparency. Our expert team are on hand to help your business become as green as possible.

Years of experience allow us to identify the best areas of savings for your business. We believe the future is sustainable and we are dedicated to getting our clients on the right path towards it.

Get in touch to hear how we can help you begin your sustainability journey.

What the new Industrial Strategy means for big energy users

On March 17 2021, the UK government announced their plans for a new Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy. In efforts to reach net zero by 2050, more than £1 billion has been channelled into industry, schools and hospitals. The strategy’s blueprint plans to switch 20 Terawatt hours of the UK’s energy from fossil fuels to low carbon alternatives.

The world’s industry sector generates one quarter of global GDP every year, as well as a significant percentage of jobs. However, industry also makes up a staggering 24% of global energy related carbon emissions. It is for this reason that the decarbonisation strategy is vital in championing a sustainable industrial future.

The strategy aims to cut two-thirds of emissions by 2050, meaning a 90% cut in comparison to 2018 levels. In addition, three megatons of CO2 are expected to be captured from industry by 2030. If this is achieved, the UK would become an international leader in industrial decarbonisation and manufacturing of low carbon products. But what does this mean for big energy users?

How will the decarbonisation strategy impact big energy users?

Carbon pricing

A carbon pricing tool will be introduced that helps assist businesses take account of their emissions by providing them with investment decisions. These measuring tools could potentially save businesses £2 billion in annual costs.

This project will ensure that businesses are maintaining the correct policy framework in switching to low carbon products. New product standards will also ensure that manufacturers are able to clearly identify their products as low carbon.

Financial benefits

It is imperative that this green revolution comes with economic benefits. Through greater energy efficiency, it is predicted that businesses will be provided with commercial opportunities and the chance to save on costs. These opportunities will be available across not only the UK, but global market.

Transforming industrial processes to include low carbon technology will benefit businesses tenfold. Significant costs will be saved on raw materials following a push for more sustainable practices, such as 3D printing and AI. Following the economic downturn created by Covid-19, finding a green recovery for the economy is vital.

Green links

The revamped decarbonisation strategy is heavily linked to the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, in which nine green tech projects will receive a cut of a £171 million grant. Announced last year as a £139 million project, the budget was further raised once the winner’s projects were announced. This challenge was created to support low carbon innovations across nine regions in the UK including Scotland, South Wales, Humber and Teesside.

As part of the Public Sector Decarbonation Scheme, £932 million has already been granted to 429 projects across England. This will fund low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps and, solar roof installations.

The strategy has also seen the emergence of the Infrastructure Delivery Taskforce, otherwise known as ‘Project Speed’. The taskforce will ensure that land planning is fit for low carbon infrastructure. This project will focus on delivering infrastructure that is quick, efficient and sustainable. It could also generate over 80,000 green jobs.

How can EIC help?

At EIC, we provide businesses with comprehensive energy management, as well as next generation energy technology. Our in-house services range from green energy procurement to onsite solar instalment and battery storage.

On the journey towards net zero carbon emissions, it is imperative that the economy has a sustainable Covid-19 recovery. By championing both efficiency and self-sufficiency, EIC are dedicated to finding the most suitable and sustainable solutions for your business. Get in touch to learn more about how EIC can help your business work towards a profitable and environmentally friendly future.

SECR: How to make it work for your business

Compliance with carbon legislation such as Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) has become a corporate obligation. But it can also unlock a range of opportunities for businesses seeking sustainable growth.

This is because the energy audit and reporting involved in carbon compliance can gather valuable data. This can then help to unearth hidden financial savings by highlighting areas of inefficiency and waste. Not to mention, sealing those leaks to reduce carbon emissions.

So, while it is often seen as a tedious piece of admin, SECR can help organisations prepare for the UK’s transition to a net zero economy. Smart energy management can also help to build a resilient foundation for any future business.

Here are some of the hidden benefits businesses are privy to if they make the most of SECR.

Getting more out of your energy audit

If your organisation falls within the scope of SECR, your energy and carbon reporting is already a priority. But the data collected has value far beyond mandatory compliance.

Submetering and monitoring provide a window into the performance of your building. Helping to pinpoint any weaknesses and inefficiencies in your systems. This holistic view of your energy use and carbon emissions can help you build a smarter, data-driven sustainable strategy.

With the next-generation technology available today, you can go beyond the data and incorporate smart controls. Our sister company, t-mac, offers Building Management Systems (BMS) that enable real time insights with IoT technology. For big energy users, this is an invaluable energy management tool for streamlining carbon compliance processes.

Ignoring this data after the initial report would mean that you risk wasting time and money on energy admin. It would culminate in nothing more than standard compliance.

Preparing for future Scope 3 reporting

Currently, organisations are mandated to report on only scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Scope 1: Direct emissions from company operations such as company vehicles or factories

Scope 2: Indirect emissions from company operations such as purchased electricity generated by fossil fuels

But it is a long road to net zero, and scope 3 emissions will likely become a part of mandatory reporting before 2050.

Scope 3: Indirect emissions from company supply chains such as shipping, business travel, and raw material extraction

By making the most of your current reporting you can prepare your organisation for future compliance. This gives you an advantage over your competitors and helps mitigate any risks, and costs, involved in last-minute reporting.

Boosting your green credentials

Businesses are waking up to the rapidly evolving corporate landscape and the growing focus on transparency. With climate change now being widely recognised as a global challenge, it is clear that every industry will have to innovate and adapt. Any organisation’s growth and longevity will increasingly rely on its levels of sustainability and environmental, social and governance. Both at a leadership level but also embedded in the corporate identity as a whole.

SECR compliance spans areas like energy management, sustainability, and financial reporting. This challenge can be transformed into an opportunity by establishing open communication between teams and forming a more cohesive SECR team.

When EIC helps a client navigate complex carbon legislation, we go beyond compliance. By establishing a long-lasting sustainable strategy for your team, we help to incorporate green values into every part of your corporate identity.

Beyond compliance, genuine sustainability will become an expectation among employees, customers and stakeholders. While greenwashing is widespread now, with companies cashing in on the climate-friendly trend, this won’t be an option for long. With transparency made mandatory and rising interest from the general public, companies will struggle to hide their skeletons.

SECR can help you begin your sustainable journey by rallying your team around your environmental mission.

How can EIC help?

At EIC, we provide businesses with end-to-end guidance and support for carbon compliance including EPBD, ESOS and SECR. Our dedicated carbon consultants have supported over 300 organisations, many of them are big energy users with complex energy admin. Our goal is to simplify and streamline your energy management from utility connections to net zero guidance.

If you want to understand how to put the findings from your SECR reporting to good use or need to begin the reporting process, contact us at EIC today.

The EII Exemption Scheme: everything you need to know

What is the energy-intensive industries (EII) exemption scheme?

The EII exemption scheme aims to help big energy users stay competitive in a global market. Qualifying businesses can claim an exemption of up to 85% of their Contract for Differences (CfD), Renewables Obligation (RO), and Feed-in Tariff (FiT) costs. Providing firm financial footing in a post-Covid economy.

Why was the EII exemption scheme launched?

The UK has pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which will require a transformative shift towards clean energy across the economy. This has resulted in a variety of government schemes which encourage the rise of electricity generated from renewable and low carbon sources.

This initiative has seen success, with renewables accounting for 47% of the UK’s generation in the first quarter of 2020. And even as consumption dropped in Q2, wind power generated electricity continued to rise due to increased capacity. This upwards trajectory is only expected to accelerate, with promising new renewable energy projects on the horizon.

The levies and obligations funding this growth are initially covered by energy suppliers. But, these costs are passed down to domestic and non-domestic consumers in the form of higher energy bills.

This puts energy-intensive businesses at a disadvantage. Especially when competing against their EU counterparts with lower energy costs. The launch of the EII exemption scheme is a solution to this problem and aims to maintain the UK’s position in the global market.

When was the scheme rolled out?

The original solution to the issue of higher costs for EIIs was a compensation scheme launched in 2016. This allowed big energy users to apply for relief from the energy costs they had already paid.

This was then replaced by the EII exemption scheme, rolled out between autumn 2017 and spring 2018. This change of approach is meant to offer energy-intensive businesses more long time certainty and stability as well as higher cost savings.


Who can apply?

To be eligible for an EII exemption, a business must meet five key requirements.

  • The business must manufacture a product in the UK within an eligible sector – the “sector level test”.
  • The business must pass a 20% electricity intensity test – the “business level test”.
  • The business must not be an Undertaking in Difficulty (UID) – the UID guidelines explain that “an undertaking is considered to be in difficulty when, without intervention by the State, it will almost certainly be condemned to going out of business in the short or medium term.”
  • The business must have at least two quarters of financial data.
  • The application must contain evidence of the proportion of electricity used to manufacture the product for a period of at least three months.

Learn more about applying for an exemption certificate.

Big energy users who do not qualify for the EII exemption scheme should still be aware of rising energy costs. They should explore schemes such as Carbon Footprinting, Energy Audits, Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). These can provide invaluable insight into your environmental impact and routes to improve energy efficiency within your company.

Has Covid-19 had an impact on the scheme?

Covid-19 has thrown various sectors of the UK economy into a state of uncertainty and decline. The energy sector was especially impacted by the fall in energy consumption in the first six months of 2020. And resulted in a subsequent drop in electricity prices. This could make it more difficult to calculate a business’ energy intensity and whether it is “in difficulty”. Because of this, the government will be excluding the period from 31 December 2019 to 30 June 2020 from its assessment of whether a business is in financial difficulty or not.

How can EIC help?

Here at EIC, we support big energy users with the management of their energy, buildings, carbon and compliance. As a result, we’re able to uncover actionable insights that allow you to manage and control all elements of your energy bill on both sides of the meter.

Armed with a comprehensive understanding of government schemes and legislation, we can help turn your frustrating admin into rewarding opportunities. We can navigate complex applications such as that for the EII exemption certificate – saving you valuable time and resources.

Contact us to learn more about how EIC can help your business.

Our offices will be closed for the Bank Holiday (Monday 29 August 2022).
If you have a query, please contact us from Tuesday 30 August onwards, and we
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