Evidence Review of the Impact of Central and Public Disclosure Methods for Reporting Energy Use and Energy Efficiency

22nd July 2014

by Adam Baddeley

The Government introduced the ‘Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme’ (ESOS) as the UK’s way to implement Article 8 of the European Union Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU). This requires Member States to establish an energy audit regime, under which all large (non-SME) enterprises must conduct an energy efficiency audit, initially by December 2015 and then every four years thereafter, with the aim of identifying energy saving recommendations.

The Government’s consultation on the proposed approach included a range of potential reporting options for non-SMEs to register compliance with the scheme. The core objectives of this piece of research were to examine the likely impacts of each reporting option, whether on the behaviour and attitudes of businesses, or on the delivery of the objectives of ESOS, namely:

  • To enable the UK to meet the requirements of Article 8 within the EU Energy Efficiency Directive; and
  • To drive energy efficiency and energy reduction among non-SMEs in the UK.

Whilst there were numerous challenges relating to the availability of data, the study found that mandatory reporting appeared likely to deliver greater and wider benefits than voluntary reporting. However, public disclosure alone did not appear likely to drive significant behavioural change on energy use. The greatest benefits were likely to be achieved by requiring board-level engagement with ESOS reporting, and by ensuring that public disclosure schemes are low volume, high quality and in a comparable format.

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