Scoping your ESOS assessment
Before you appoint an ESOS lead assessor, it is important to ensure that the scope of your ESOS audit meets your particular requirements. By scope, I don’t mean the scope and boundaries of the energy uses or physical boundaries as defined by ISO 50001 or ESOS guidance but I mean “how” the ESOS audit itself is to be completed.
It is not always necessary for you to appoint a lead assessor to do all of the elements of the ESOS audit for you throughout the duration of the project, so for example, you could appoint an ESOS lead assessor to scope the initial visit for you, provide a guidance route, identify data to be gathered and then review, verify and sign the audit off at the end of the process. All of that data gathering bit in the middle could be done by you (the company) in the middle part of the ESOS assessment, saving you thousands in consultancy fees. This approach is entirely consistent with ESOS guidance.
If you think about what an ESOS audit is actually trying to achieve, it is gathering data in order to build an energy profile of your business over a 12 month period. If you appoint a consultant to do this for you, where is he going to get the data from? – yes you. So why not try and break the audit up into the parts that require the appointment of an ESOS lead assessor (scoping, guidance, review, sign off) and complete the data gathering and collation in-house? Chances are that if you monitor energy consumption closely as most businesses do, you already have a wealth of data in various spreadsheets from different offices, departments, or business streams. This information can easily be gathered and converted into the standardised format by an existing energy manager or facilities manager under the guidance of an experienced lead assessor.
My observations come from a number of proposals already submitted to clients for the type of audit where the consultant sells you time to sit in your office and then ask you for all of the data for him to collate. Far better for you to be told what data is needed and in what format at the beginning and then for you to do this data collation yourself. Of course you may not have the time or resources (or inclination !) to do this, in which case you can accept a full proposal and use the assessor for everything, however in my experience many companies want to ensure that they are only buying in the expertise they actually require.
Your money, your call!