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Are you ready for ESOS?

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) was introduced 10 months ago to help large businesses cut carbon emissions by requiring them to identify energy reduction measures and make key savings. Thousands of firms are affected, but many are unclear as to what they need to do.

Organisations with more than 250 employees or a turnover of over £39m must carry out an audit of their energy consumption and identify efficiency measures they can implement to save on energy costs. Audits must be conducted by an approved ESOS lead assessor every four years.

The price of energy is only travelling in one direction and that is up, so firms cannot afford to sit back and be complacent.

When it comes to optimising energy use, there is a temptation to find the cheapest HVAC systems, even though this is rarely the most effective way to tackle the issue. HVAC is responsible for a huge proportion of a company’s energy costs, with heating and hot water alone accounting for 60% of total energy use.

Although paying for more energy-efficient heating systems may not be a popular idea, it makes sense when you take into consideration the true value as opposed to the initial costs.

According to the government’s Achieving Excellence in Construction publication, the most reliable indicator of “value” in the industry is the relationship between long-term costs and the benefits achieved by the end user. When it comes to heating, optimum value is gained from a system that achieves the required functionality at the lowest cost when calculated over the plant’s lifecycle.

Whole-life cost analysis is vital if owners of commercial premises are to make informed decisions, especially since they are faced with a huge choice when it comes to HVAC solutions.

In times of rapidly increasing energy costs, taking action to reduce consumption makes sense both financially and environmentally. High-efficiency condensing units may require a higher initial capital investment, but they are economical and can repay that extra up-front cost in fuel savings in between two and four years, with up to a 30% saving on replacement heaters.

In addition to the systems themselves, an array of controls complement HVAC solutions  and help to reduce expenditure on energy even further. Intelligent energy management controls can be used in small, single-heat installations through to large multi-zoned applications, creating easy to use, cost-effective energy management solutions that go a long way towards eliminating energy waste.

ESOS will help move businesses forward by getting them to adopt a long-term energy strategy. Businesses should not delay any longer – today’s HVAC solutions are key to the strategy and may well save them thousands.

Nick Winton is AmbiRad product manager at Nortek Global HVAC

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