What is the EEOS?
Many countries around the world have adopted some form of Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme (EEOS) to reduce energy use. These schemes are generally funded by the energy suppliers and distributors rather than by government. The term ‘obligation’ in the title refers to the fact that the energy suppliers and distributors are obligated by legislation to participate in and fund the scheme.
In Ireland, the EEOS has been around since 2014 (a similar scheme has been running in the UK since 2013). Under the Irish scheme, the Obligated Parties (OPs) include energy suppliers and distributors that sell more than 400GWh of energy per year to final customers. These OPs are given specific annual targets based on their market share within the energy industry. There are a number of obligated parties in Ireland including Bord Gais Energy, Electric Ireland and Flogas. The SEAI website has an up-to-date listing here.
How Does the Scheme Work & Who is it For?
All users of energy, for example, a manufacturing company or commercial office, can apply to their energy supplier for financial support for an energy-saving project. The value of the support is proportional to the level of energy saving achieved. There is therefore a verification process that will need to take place to confirm the level of savings achieved.
To apply to an Obligated Party for funding, there must be a business case made for the energy efficiency improvement. This is where the energy audit comes in. The energy audit report will list the various practical energy efficiency improvements and calculate the energy and cost saving together with capital and operating costs plus payback and Return on Investment.
Benefits of the Scheme
It is important that this is not just a box ticking exercise as real cost and carbon savings can be made in all organisations. This is because technology in energy efficiency is rapidly evolving. Typical areas were saving are made include lighting, space heating, process control, compressed air etc. When implemented, practical and achievable energy savings are to be expected within financially acceptable returns. Besides cost savings, other benefits will include reduced carbon footprint and greater energy security.
The Difference Between EEOS & EAS/ESOS
There is sometimes some confusion over the terms EEOS and EAS/ESOS. The Energy Audit Scheme (EAS) is the Irish government’s response to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. This requires all companies above a certain size to have a quality energy audit. The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is the UK’s response to the same directive (which is still in force despite Brexit). Thus, EAS and ESOS are schemes to force large companies to have an energy audit. EEOS would therefore be a possible route to funding the recommendations from EAS or ESOS audits.
Ready to elevate your energy efficiency initiatives and explore potential funding avenues through EEOS?
At Environmental Efficiency, we have carried out many EAS and ESOS audits and worked with Obligated Parties to achieve energy and cost savings for clients. Contact us today about leveraging EAS and ESOS audits to enhance your environmental sustainability.
The author, Bob Sutcliffe, is a Chartered Engineer, Certified Energy Manager, and a member of AEE. Bob has carried out energy audits for many SMEs and multinationals over 30 years of consulting both in the UK and Ireland. Bob can be contacted at email@example.com .