• Inenco has 25TW (£2.4bn) energy under management, which could power the whole of Ireland for an entire year!
  • We have one quarter of the total energy use by UK Industry under management
  • Our customers are paying 48% less than the market price for their gas commodity. That's a saving of £480k per £1m that would have been spent
  • Our experts process over 93,000 invoices per month and we've recovered over £11m in over-charges for our clients in the last year
  • Inenco look after 8,000 customers across the group, managing 140,000+ meter sites
  • We provide support to over 500 businesses for energy and carbon management
  • Inenco supported over 320 organisations with ESOS Phase 1 compliance and carried out more energy surveys than any other independent consultant in the UK
  • Our solutions team have identified savings of £37.5m per annum for our clients, a total of 495,338,992 kWh savings identified
  • Last year we saved our CCA clients alone £25.5m

ESOS: Just Another Case Of ‘Same Old, Same Old’ (A Year On)

Another year, another new piece of energy legislation for businesses. In the past two decades I’ve worked in the energy retail business, I’ve witnessed the market transform beyond recognition and I can confidently say it has not all been good for businesses.

The reason for my nostalgia is my recent return to Inenco after a number of supply-side roles and it’s given me chance to reflect on how the market has changed.

It’s fair to say that the majority changes have mostly been driven by the increasing amount of energy regulation. With it, we’ve all seen the role of energy professionals expand to more than simply getting a good price, with compliance and carbon carrying a significant weighting in any procurement exercise – a far cry from the first role I held as an electricity purchasing manager at Inenco when it really was price, price, price.

Finally, a carrot and not a stick!

At a glance the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) seems like another stick to hit energy managers with, but on closer inspection it is different. For starters:

  1. It isn’t the carbon tax that the CRC really was.
    2. There’s no naming and shaming or league tables.
    3. There are no set carbon reduction requirements.
    4. The scope is much wider – ESOS covers transport as well as buildings and gives a far more accurate picture of energy use across operations.

Of course there are still fines for non-compliance, but why would you not comply? I can’t help but think it’s a bit like being told to wear your seatbelt. I remember my Dad moaning every time Mum nagged him to comply with the new law. Now more than 30 years later it’s second nature and who would deny the benefits we have seen.  Will striving for energy savings be second nature in 30 years? Is ESOS the answer? I guess it depends how we all respond.

I’ve heard potential saving figures in the hundreds of millions of pounds, but under ESOS whether those figures become a reality or not lies in the hands of businesses themselves.

ESOS is not the ‘stick’ approach that the CRC became. That said, I’m fairly sure the ESOS ‘carrot’ will be big enough to act on regardless. It goes without saying that the only businesses who will really benefit are those who do something with the audit recommendations.

Good things don’t always come to those who wait…

The first ESOS deadline is fast approaching. Eligible businesses have to assess their qualification status by 31 December.

The number of businesses requiring audits far outstrips the number of good quality auditors currently available and choosing your ESOS partner – either an energy consultant or supplier, or training up an employee to become lead auditor needs to happen now. Don’t put your head in the sand and wait until next year to worry about ESOS – this scheme is different. ESOS is all about opportunity (the clue really is in the name) and businesses have got to approach it with a different mind-set.

Dave Cockshott, Director at Inenco Group