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How will ESOS affect large fleets?

By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 11:34

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Can industry reduce carbon output without risking operations?

In her latest article, Nickie Brooks looks at what fleets can do about the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, or ESOS, was implemented by the Government as part of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. Interestingly, many are unsure as to what this actually means – and fleets may face a major change for those affected.

The scheme requires companies that fall into what the Government classifies as ‘large entities’ to undertake a mandatory assessment, every four years, of energy use and efficiency. Large entities are those who employ 250+ staff and/or has a turnover greater than £38.9m and an annual balance sheet greater than 33.4m – so the big players.

What many fail to recognise is that this will affect fleets. The energy consumption of all company and grey fleet vehicles falls under the scope of ESOS. Those of you who have a large mobile workforce need to get auditing, and quickly – or face hefty fines.

The challenge to reduce carbon within fleets is not going to be easy; particularly those who work in industries that require bigger vehicles – such as construction – where vehicles which output more emissions are often sometimes a necessary evil to ensure the vehicle is fit for the purpose. Inner city companies may have it easier with the introduction of better all-electric and hybrid commercials, but the choice is limited.

Is it possible then, for these types of industries to effectively reduce their vehicle carbon output without risking their operations? The jury is out. It will be a challenge, but I do think that as the focus swings to LCV’s and HGV’s – cleaner options which are viable will become recognised. We’re already seeing it happen, but it needs more attention.

Those who drive predominantly car-only fleets will enjoy an easier burden, with the positive direction and increased uptake of all electric cars, the choice is not so limited and certainly a lot more attractive in the overall offering. Manufacturers are also firmly behind reducing emissions, one recent addition is the new ingenium engine produced by Jaguar Land Rover – an XF with over 70mpg and sub 105g/km? That’s impressive – and I know it’s only going to get better.

What is for certain is that fleet managers and business owners need to be reviewing this policy and their fleet – there are always improvements to be made and even if you’re not affected by ESOS, you might be surprised on the size of potential savings you could make if you optimise your fleet.

Nickie Brooks is the Managing Director of Alternative Route Finance, a a leading provider of car leasing, van leasing and fleet management solutions. She has spent her entire career in the motor and finance industries

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