Male factory worker maintaining record on clipboard

How to create a custom form with Field Elite

A common requirement for most Field Service Workers is to complete various forms and paper based inspection checklists when visiting customer sites and remote area locations.  Often the data collected is often used in collaboration efforts across multiple teams and organisations. 

Using paper forms, binders, cameras, and filing cabinets can make this process complicated, frustrating, and often, near impossible.

If you consider that, even though we are entering the third decade of the new millennium and despite the proliferation of Smart Phones and Tablet computing an incredibly large percentage of field service teams are still making use of paper based systems!

Read more about the benefits of digital forms data collection

Field Elite Customised forms

Field Elite enables Field Service organisations to easily create their own customised forms which can be attached jobs. 

The creation of forms can be done using the Web Based Administration Portal which is provided as standard to all customers when signing up for an account.

To access the form builder from Side Navigation navigate Settings –> Form Templates –> Create Form

You will then be presented with Form Builder utility which will contain an Empty Default Form and a list of fields types you are able to insert.

There are a variety of fields you can use to create all manner of forms. There is no restriction on the number of fields or field types you can choose to create forms suitable for your purpose.

If you can think it you can create it

In the example, we’ll work through, we are going to create a Simple Conference Room Inspection  Report, to be used by Facility Managers to assist in carrying room inspection reports for conference centres.

To add fields to your form simply Drag and Drop the fields onto the form.

Once you have completed adding which fields you require to your form and you are satisfied with the layout.

Select Settings tab to provide a meaningful name for your form.

You can also select a Form Layout you wish for your form.  For the purpose of this post we are going to leave it as Vertical.

Once you are satisfied with your form you can select Save Form
 

Once your form has been saved it will be available for selection when defining jobs in the system.

Summary

It is really easy to define custom forms using the Field Elite from templates module.  The Form Template module enables you to create any manner of forms your organisation may require.

One single app brings together your back office, mobile workers & customers in perfect harmony.
green energy against a blue sky

Saving Energy Step 1 – Implementing a Management System

There has been much hype down the years regarding whether management is art or science. Thankfully, where people are concerned the pendulum has swung away from standard times in sweatshops in the west. However, when it comes to measuring physical things like harvest per square meter and the amount of energy consumed there is no substitute for scientific measurement, and this implies a system.

Managing energy cost and consumption down is like any other strategy. American engineer / statistician / management consultant W. Edwards Demming may have passed on in 1993. However he was as right as ever when he said:

  1. When people and organizations focus primarily on quality, this tends to increase and costs fall over time.
  1. However, when people and organizations focus primarily on costs, costs tend to rise and quality declines over time.

Demming believed that 90% of organizational problems arise from systems we put in place ourselves. This can be because we are so accustomed to them that we fail to notice when they are no longer relevant. The currently prevailing laissez faire towards energy is a case in point. What is managed improves and what is not, deteriorates. We know this. Let us take a look at how to apply this principle to energy management.

First, you need to get the subject out the closet and talk about it. How often do you do this is your boardroom, and how does energy rank against other priorities? Good governance is about taking up a position and following through on it. Here is a handy checklist you may like to use.

  • Do we use a consistent language when we talk about energy? Is it electricity, or carbon emitted (or are we merely fretting over cost).
  • How well engaged are we as a company? Looking up and down and across the organization are there points where responsibility stops.
  • How well have we defined accountability? Do we agree on key performance areas and how to report on them.
  • Are we measuring energy use at each point of the business? When did we last challenge the assumption that ‘we’re doing okay’.
  • Have we articulated our belief that quality is endless improvement, or are we simply chasing targets because someone says we should.

A management system is a program of policies, processes and methods to ensure achievement of goals. The next blog focuses on tools and techniques that support this effort.

Want to find out more?

Contact Denizon today to find out how we can your organisation overcome business challenges.

  • 0843 289 4539 (UK)
  • +353-1-443-3807 (Irl)
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Mobile Workforce Management in a nutshell

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It is fairly common for businesses to have staff working across many different locations across the country or even the world.  Engaged in various activities like  door-to-door sales, delivery and installations, service maintenance, conducting inspections & investigations or even data collection.

Managing and co-ordinating tasks, scheduling activities, planning and monitoring activities and communicating can often be challenging.

Mobile Workforce Management is the automation of the entire end-to-end workflow management and operations of any field service workers. 

Mobile Workforce Management Synonyms

Mobile Workforce Management is also known as

  • Field Service Management
  • Job Scheduling Software
  • Job Management Software

Advantages of Mobile Workforce Management

It is increasingly clear that there needs to be a certain sense of discipline and streamlining of field operations and important to automate certain tasks within field sales and operations, primarily because it helps you to track your assets remotely and ensuring contact with your workforce when required. Enabling your team to get in touch when required.

Most importantly, engineers, sales representatives and customer care executives can easily send information, scan receipts, Invoice customers and retrieve other crucial information in a standardized and streamlined manner. Assisting in regulating your business and also bringing some order to what is usually a very chaotic mode of working.

Why choose Mobile Workforce Management

Work Force Management tools help you to stay in control. They assist in automating what can and should be automated leaving only the crucial human-human interactivity. Helping you to keep a record of all interactions and important data within a database, without you having to manually go through sales receipts, complaint slips and other such details.

A Field Force Management tool is a time-saver and efficiency tool for companies. Moreover, these tools help to automate several aspects of your day to day operations, leading to an increase in productivity and motivation.

Streamlining operations, will also ensure that important stakeholders are well informed and management visibility is enhanced. Helping your business to make smarter decisions and help serve your customers better.

Field Force Management is similar to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution but is vastly different. It is specifically targeted at staff that work on the field and is intended to make their and your work more streamlined, transparent and easy to track.

One single app brings together your back office, mobile workers & customers in perfect harmony.

Cloud based solutions help you automate

 Field Force Management is usually cloud based which means all data is stored and accessible on secure cloud servers. There is no question of losing important data or not being able to retrieve something important. If something goes missing, there will usually be a backup available. Field force management tools include the software, the hardware and also the kind of training that is required for users to use it efficiently.

The software usually helps in saving and processing information while the hardware helps employees to enter important data into devices while they are on the job. Sometimes, field force solutions can also be a mobile app which negates the need for a specific or special device.

This is very important when it comes to field jobs as carrying different devices can prove to be a cumbersome job. At the end of the day, field force solutions are meant to reduce the burden on staff and not actually inadvertently increase it.

Denizon’s FieldElite Mobile Workforce management application provides significant improvements in efficiency and service with a switch to digital working and the elimination of paperwork.

All the information that is stored on the cloud can be run through analytics software so that you get the kind of reports that you are looking for to improve your business.

Field Force Management Process

A field force management tool helps you to remain in contact with your staff while they are at work on the field. This helps you to track your personnel in real time. Field personnel or your staff can log in and enter their attendance using a smartphone. You can assign that particular day’s task remotely using a web console or your own smartphone.

Next, they can carry out whatever duties they need to while you get all the alerts that you set to receive. This helps to increase transparency. You can choose to receive alerts on your phone or on your desktop.

Finally, staff can tag completed tasks with audio and images, instead of they having to type reports. This helps to focus more on the job than on job reporting. Last but not the least, location tags help you to ensure that the job is done at the right place. Your staff will not be able to take your generosity for granted.

All in all, a field force management tool helps you to track and control your staff without you having to be physically present with them and this is the beauty of this tool.

Summary

Field Force Management helps companies to reduce administration expense and improve productivity. This helps to automate data integration which is usually done with the help of cloud servers. Moreover, you can set invoice parameters that help you to also keep track of stocks, inventories and engage in P.O. and task management.

A number of field force management users also use it as a tool to engage in credit management. Banks and insurance companies particularly find this tool helpful as payments can be received on the job, instead of asking customers to pay online or offline. This also helps in building valuable customer relationships and enhance loyalty.

Thirdly, a field force management tool helps to increase planning efficiency. This means, you will be able to allocate tasks and optimize routing. All this helps to increase your ROI at the end of the day and get back the money you invest on field force management.

Finally, you will have more control over productivity and sales thanks to automation of data collection. You will also have more control over the execution of tasks and that will invariably make your company leaner and smarter.

Want to find out more?

Contact Denizon today to find out how we can your organisation overcome business challenges.

  • 0843 289 4539 (UK)
  • +353-1-443-3807 (Irl)
Ground of cracked with texture

ecoVaro to tackle water stress

Ground of cracked with texture

For many people within the UK, water is not really something to worry about. Surely enough of it falls out the sky throughout the year that it does feel highly unlikely that we’ll ever run out of it. There certainly does seem to be an abundance of Branded Water available in plastic bottles on our supermarket shelves.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Despite this, Once-unthinkable water crises are becoming commonplace.  If you consider that In England and Wales, we use 16 billion litres of clean drinking water every day – that’s equivalent to 6,400 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Currently, water companies can provide slightly more than we need – 2 billion litres are available above and beyond what we’re using.  In some areas, though, such as south east England, there is no surplus and, as such, these regions are more likely to face supply restrictions in a dry year.

If we take little moment to reflect on some of the most notable water related stories over the past few years, we’ll start to get a picture of just how real the potential and the threat of water shortages can be.

Reservoirs in Chennai, India’s sixth-largest city, are nearly dry right now. Last year, residents of Cape Town, South Africa narrowly avoided their own Day Zero water shut-off.

It was only year before that, Rome rationed water to conserve scarce resources.

Climate change is likely to mean higher temperatures which may drive up the demand for water (alongside population growth) and increase evaporation from reservoirs and water courses during spring and summer.

The impact of climate change on total rainfall is uncertain, but the rain that does fall is likely to arrive in heavier bursts in winter and summer. Heavier rain tends to flow off land more quickly into rivers and out to sea, rather than recharging groundwater aquifers.

A greater chance of prolonged dry periods is also conceivable.  This combined with the harsh reality that no human population can sustain itself without sufficient access to fresh water.

If present conditions continue, 2 out of 3 people on Earth will live within a water-stressed zone by 2025

 

What is water stress?

Water stress is a term used to describe situation when demand for water is greater than the amount of water available at a certain period in time, and also when water is of poor quality and this restricts its usage. Water stress means deterioration in both the quantity of available water and the quality of available water due to factors affecting available water.

Water stress refers to the ability, or lack thereof, to meet human and ecological demand for water. Compared to scarcity, water stress is a more inclusive and broader concept.

Water Stress considers several physical aspects related to water resources, including water scarcity, but also water quality, environmental flows, and the accessibility of water.

Supply and Demand

Major factors involved when water scarcity strikes is when a growing populations demand for water exceeds the areas ability to service that need.

Increased food production and development programs also lead to increased demand for water, which ultimately leads to water stress.

Increased need for agricultural irrigation in order to produce more crops or sustain livestock are major contributors to localised water stress.

Overconsumption

The demand for water in a given population is fairly unpredictable.  Primarily, based on the fact that you can never accurately predict human behaviour and changes in climate.

If too many people are consuming more water than they need because they mistakenly believe that water is freely available and plentiful, then water stress could eventually occur.

This is also linked to perceived economic prosperity of a give region.  Manufacturing demand for water can have huge impact regardless whether water is actively used within the manufacturing process or not.

Water Quality

Water quality in any given area is never static.  Water stress could happen as a result of rising pollution levels having a direct impact on water quality.

Water contamination happens when new industries either knowingly or unknowingly contaminate water with their industrial practices.

Largely, this can happen and frequently does so because these industries do not take effective control of monitoring and managing their impact on communal water supplies.  Incorrectly assuming this is the responsibility of an additional third party like the regional water company.

The truth is, water quality and careful monitoring of it is all of our responsibility.

Water Scarcity

Simple increases in demand for water can in itself contribute to water scarcity. However,  these are often preceded by other factors like poverty or just the natural scarcity of water in the area.

In many instances, the initial locations of towns or cities were not influenced by the close proximity of natural resources like water, but rather in pursuit of the extraction of other resources like Gold, Coal or Diamonds.

For Instance, Johannesburg,  South Africa is the largest City in South Africa and is one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is also located in the mineral rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the centre of large-scale gold and diamond trade.

Johannesburg is also one of the only major cities of the world that was not built on a river or harbour.   However, it does have streams that contribute to two of Southern Africas mightiest rivers – Limpopo and the Orange rivers.  However, most of the springs from which many of these streams emanate are now covered in concrete!

Water Stress and Agriculture

Peter Buss, co-founder of Sentek Technology calls ground moisture a water bank and manufactures ground sensors to interrogate it. His hometown of Adelaide is in one of the driest states in Australia. This makes monitoring soil water even more critical, if agriculture is to continue. Sentek has been helping farmers deliver optimum amounts of water since 1992.

The analogy of a water bank is interesting. Agriculturists must ‘bank’ water for less-than-rainy days instead of squeezing the last drop. They need a stream of real-time data and utilize cloud-based storage and processing power to curate it.

Sentek’s technology can be found in remote places like Peru’s Atacamba desert and the mountains of Mongolia, where it supports sustainable floriculture, forestry, horticulture, pastures, row crops and viticulture through precise delivery of scarce water.

This relies on precision measurement using a variety of drill and drop probes with sensors fixed at 4” / 10cm increments along multiples of 12” / 30cm up to 4 times. These probe soil moisture, soil temperature and soil salinity, and are readily repositioned to other locations as crops rotate.

Peter Buss is convinced that measurement is a means to an end and only the beginning. ‘Too often, growers start watering when plants don’t really need it, wasting water, energy, and labour. By accurately monitoring water can be saved until when the plant really needs it.

Peter also emphasises that crop is the ultimate sensor, and that ‘we should ask the plant what it needs’.

This takes the debate a stage further. Water wise farmers should plant water-wise crops, not try to close the stable door after the horse has bolted and dry years return.

The South Australia government thinks the answer also lies in correct farm dam management. It wants farmers to build ones that allow sufficient water to bypass in order to sustain the natural environment too.

There is more to water management than squeezing the last drop. Soil moisture goes beyond measuring for profit. It is about farming sustainably using data from sensors to guide us.

Ecovaro is ahead of the curve as we explore imaginative ways to exploit the data these provide for the common good of all.

A Quarter of the World’s Population, Face High Water Stress

Data from WRI’s Aqueduct tools reveal that 17 countries – home to one-quarter of the world’s population—face “extremely high” levels of baseline water stress, where irrigated agriculture, industries and municipalities withdraw more than 80% of their available supply on average every year. 

Water stress poses serious threats to human lives, livelihoods and business stability. It’s poised to worsen unless countries act: Population growth, socioeconomic development and urbanization are increasing water demands, while climate change can make precipitation and demand more variable.  

How to manage water stress

Water stress is just one dimension of water security. However, like any challenge, its outlook depends on adequate monitoring and management of environmental data.

Even countries with relatively high water stress have effectively secured their water supplies through proper management by leveraging the knowledge they have garnered by learning from the data they gathered.

3 ways to help reduce water stress

In any geography, water stress can be reduced by measures ranging from common sense to innovative technology solutions.

There are countless solutions, but here are three of the most straightforward:

1. Increase agricultural efficiency: The world needs to make every drop of water go further in its food systems. Farmers can use seeds that require less water and improve their irrigation techniques by using precision watering rather than flooding their fields.

Businesses need to increase investments to improve water productivity, while engineers develop technologies that improve efficiency in agriculture.

Consumers can reduce food loss and waste, which uses one-quarter of all agricultural water.

2. Invest in grey and green infrastructure:  D Data produced by Aqueduct Alliance  –  shows that water stress can vary tremendously over the year.  WRI and the World Bank’s research shows that built infrastructure (like pipes and treatment plants) and green infrastructure (like wetlands and healthy watersheds) can work in tandem to tackle issues of both water supply and water quality.

3. Treat, reuse and recycle:  We need to stop thinking of wastewater as waste.

Treating and reusing it creates a “new” water source.

There are also useful resources in wastewater that can be harvested to help lower water treatment costs. For example, plants in Xiangyang, China and Washington, D.C. reuse or sell the energy- and nutrient-rich byproducts captured during wastewater treatment.

Summary

The data is undeniably clear, there are very worrying trends in water.

Businesses and other other organisations need to start taking action now and investing in better monitoring and management, we can solve water issues for the good of people, economies and the planet. We collectively cannot kick this can down the road any further, or assume that this problem will be solved by others.

It is time, for a collective sense of responsibility and for everyone to invest in future prosperity of our Planet as a collective whole.  Ecological preservation should be at the forefront of all business plans because at the end of the day profit is meaningless without an environment to enjoy it in!

Want to find out more?

Contact Denizon today to find out how we can your organisation overcome business challenges.

  • 0843 289 4539 (UK)
  • +353-1-443-3807 (Irl)
Portrait of construction engineers working on building site

What is work force management?

Portrait of construction engineers working on building site

For organisations to ensure they provide the right service.  In order to do they need to assign the right employees with the right skills to the right job at the right time to meet demand.

Workforce Management Background

Workforce management (WFM) is a strategy used by companies to increase their efficiency and performance. It entails all activities aimed at maintaining a steady output, such as human resource management, forecasting, field service management, budgeting, scheduling, performance and training management, analytics, recruitment and data collection.

Workforce management utilizes a unique set of performance enhancing tools and software to bolster corporate management, workers, and other categories of managers and supervisors in the manufacturing team, distribution, transportation, and retail operators. This is sometimes called HRM systems, or part of ERP systems, or workforce asset management.

Unlike the conventional outlay that only needed staff scheduling to improve time management, workforce management is now all-inclusive and demand-oriented to optimize staff scheduling. Apart from focusing on demand-orientation and optimization, workforce management also incorporates:

  • Estimating the workload and resource utilisation
  • Job scheduling
  • Management of working times and accounts
  • Monitoring the process of workforce management

Each task should be clearly defined and performed efficiently based on set engineering standards and methods of optimizing each task as much as possible. Out of this framework and demand based forecasts, workers are scheduled and given tasks, performance measured, give feedback, and incentives computed and paid.

Workforce management is an entire scheme aimed at building the capacity of workers, increase productivity and client relations, and where possible reduce labour costs.

What is Mobile Workforce Management (MWM)

Mobile workforce management (MWM) is a software-based service used to oversee employees outside of the institution’s premises; MWM sometimes refers to the field teams. Mobile workforce management encompasses all activities done to monitor and schedule the field workforce.

The entire process includes procurement, management and using mobile devices, applications and computer software. Related support services like tracking, logging, dispatch, productivity management, and other types of communication are also to make it efficient.

Companies do not have the same needs and MWM firms need to fine-tune their software and devices to sufficiently bridge this gap. Some providers are suited only to a specific type of company because of specialization, like managing the electric grid. This experience makes the MWM company suited to provide applications that are relevant to the company for them to continue operating smoothly and efficiently.

With the increase in mobile devices, applications, secured wireless networks and virtual desktop, there comes a stream of opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) and other ventures. Nevertheless, a mobile workforce needs better controls, security and support, as well as a functioning mobile workforce management strategy.

MMS (managed mobility services) is often used interchangeably with MWM, but they should not be confused. MWM is related to software and applications used by mobile and computer devices to manage on-field work while MMS focuses on enterprises, and is like a way of keeping in touch with the company, other employees, and linking the mobile while at work to servers and the database.

 

Benefits of Mobile Workforce Management

MWM allows the utilization of technology to drive productivity. Here are the top five advantages of MWM..

  1. Customer focused. The customer is the backbone of any business. The team needs to keep in touch with up-to-date information about every interaction. In the end, better client relation makes sure that the customer is always happy.
  2. Information has the power to build or destroy. A cloud-based system is easier to manage and can help with collection of data which is used to make business decisions. This can help cut costs, increase the workforce support, and identify areas where polishing needs to be done.
  3. Improved efficiency. Mobile workforce management is majorly used in taskforce allocation. If the company adopts a cloud-based work force management system, allocation is done automatically saving a lot of time.
  4. Increased revenue. Each business seeks to maximize the profit. With cloud-based mobile workforce management some operations like task management, data analysis, customer communication, reporting, and performance monitoring can be automated. This reduces the costs incurred for multiple applications and saves time.
  5. Ease of communication. Communication is vital. Constant communication with customers drives sales rates and everyone loves that. Quick communication will help customers solve their problems faster and get instant feedback.

 

Additional WFM benefits

 Other WFM benefits are:

  • Operations are made efficient as all complex processes are automated.
  • Employers learn more about worker engagement, productivity and attendance, allowing them to modify training, coaching and processes aimed at streamlining performance.
  • Automation and easy manipulation of data to improve HR, productivity and slash administrative costs.
  • It increases employee productivity by reducing absenteeism and late arrivals.
  • Boosts the morale of employees by encouraging transparency and facilitating manager-employee communication.
  • WFM analyzes market and schedule requirements to pick the right employee with the best set of skills for a certain task.

Companies which embrace workforce management and mobile workforce management have a higher operational efficiency. They have lower operational costs and limit manual work as much as possible

Want to find out more?

Contact Denizon today to find out how we can your organisation overcome business challenges.

  • 0843 289 4539 (UK)
  • +353-1-443-3807 (Irl)

ENERGY AUDITS AND ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

a high-voltage electricity pylons against blue sky and clouds power line electric post

A.Introduction

  1. An ‘energy audit‘ means a systematic procedure with the purpose of obtaining adequate knowledge of the energy consumption profile of a building or group of buildings, an industrial or commercial operation or installation or a private or public service, identifying and quantifying cost-effective energy saving opportunities, and reporting the findings; (see corresponding definition in Article 2(25)).
  2. Energy audits are an essential tool to achieve energy savings. They are necessary to assess the existing energy consumption and identify the whole range of opportunities to save energy. This should then result in proposals of concrete saving measures for management, public authorities or home owners. Furthermore, energy audits allow the identification and prioritization or ranking of opportunities for improvement. In this way, energy audits tackle the information gap that is one of the main barriers to energy efficiency.
  3. Through the identification of energy saving possibilities and proposed recommendations for follow-up, audits are also the basis for the development of a market for energy services. The result of an energy audit may be, for example, a recommendation for window replacement in a household, for insulation of piping in a factory or for setting up a comprehensive energy management system in commercial buildings, among other recommendations. Furthermore, energy audits are not only centered on technical solutions such as replacements or retrofits, as significant opportunities for improvement may also exist in connection to the operation, both industrial and commercial, for example the more efficient operation and continual optimization of operating procedures, control parameters, logistic and layout optimization and maintenance planning. Energy audits may also be part of a broader environmental audit that considers storage possibilities, connection to district heating and cooling networks or potential for demand response in industries and commercial buildings. A private or public service, e.g. city public transport system, may also be subject to an energy audit that results in the identification of cost-effective energy saving opportunities.
  4. Having an energy management system in place requires enterprises to carry out detailed energy review processes, which also result in the systematic identification and reporting of energy saving opportunities. This may also be the case for enterprises implementing environmental management systems.
  5. Article 8 of Directive 2012/27/EU of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency (the Energy Efficiency Directive – hereafter also ‘the EED’ or ‘the Directive’) requires Member States to comply with the following main obligations:
    • Promote the availability of high quality and cost-effective energy audits to all final customers, fulfilling minimum criteria based on Annex VI and carried out by qualified and/or accredited experts or supervised by independent authorities ;
    • Ensure mandatory and regular audits for large enterprises fulfilling minimum criteria based on Annex VI and carried out by qualified and/or accredited experts or supervised by independent authorities;
    • Establish transparent and non-discriminatory minimum criteria for energy audits, based on Annex VI of the Directive;
    • Establish in national legislation, requirements for energy auditors, and for supervision by national authorities,
    • Ensure the development of programmes to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to undergo energy audits and to implement the recommendations from these audits; and
    • Ensure the development of programmes to raise awareness among households about the benefits of energy audits.

The Article gives scope for the provision of incentives for the implementation of recommended measures.

B.Legal and policy context

  1. Obligations for Member States in relation to energy audits already existed in the Energy Services Directive (‘the ESD’)[2] but under the EED their obligatory nature is stronger, and audits are made compulsory for large enterprises. Provisions on qualification of experts, independent control systems and quality assurance and energy performance certificates also exist in Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (recast of the earlier Directive 2002/91/EC, hereinafter ‘the EPBD’)[3]. The relationship between these is explained below.
  2. Article 8(1) and Article 8(4) of the Directive establish the two main obligations for Member States to promote the availability of energy audits and to ensure that large enterprises carry out regular energy audits. Whilst the obligation for large enterprises to carry out regular energy audits is new, an obligation for Member States to ensure the availability of efficient high-quality energy audit schemes, which are carried out in an independent manner, to all final consumers, including smaller domestic, commercial and small and medium-sized industrial customers was already established in similar terms in Article 12 of the ESD. In cases where energy audits were not commercially available for certain market segments, such as households, Member States had the obligation to ensure the availability of such audits. The EED also introduces additional expertise and supervision requirements for energy audits and an obligation for Member States to ensure the development of programmes to encourage SMEs to undergo energy audits and to raise awareness among households. Article 12(3) of the ESD specified that audits resulting from schemes based on voluntary agreements between organisations of stakeholders and an appointed body, by the Member States concerned in accordance with Article 6(2)(b) of the ESD, were to be considered as having fulfilled the requirements for Member States to ensure the availability of energy audits. Article 8(2) and 8(5) of the EED maintain the possibility for Member States to conclude voluntary agreements for the implementation of energy audits, both in SMEs and in large enterprises.
  1. Article 11 of the EPBD imposes the obligation on Member States to establish a system of certification of the energy performance of buildings. This makes it possible for owners or tenants of a building to assess its energy performance and compare it with others. According to Article 12 of the ESD, certification in accordance with Article 7 of Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings[4] must be regarded as equivalent to an energy audit meeting the requirements set out in Article 12(1) and (2) of the ESD. However, in recognition of the wider scope of energy audits under Article 8 of the EED, the EED no longer keeps this equivalence.
  2. Therefore, energy performance certification in accordance with Article 11 of the EPBD, and inspections in accordance with its Articles 14 and/or 15, cannot automatically be regarded as equivalent to energy audits under Article 8 of the EED (which are e.g. based on measured data on energy consumption and load profiles for electricity, examine – where applicable – industrial operations or installations, including transportation, and allow detailed and validated calculations to provide information on potential savings). However, it is possible that in specific cases (for instance when auditing office buildings of a large enterprise) certification and/or inspections under the EPBD in a given Member State may fulfil the requirements of Article 8 and Annex VI of the EED.
  3. Article 8 of the ESD establishes that Member States must ensure, where they deem it necessary, the availability of appropriate qualification, accreditation and/or certification schemes for the providers of energy audits. Complementing the provisions of Article 8, Article 16 of the EED on the availability of qualification, accreditation and certification schemes establishes that where a Member State considers that the national level of technical competence, objectivity and reliability is insufficient, the Member State must ensure that, by 31 December 2014, certification and/or accreditation schemes and/or equivalent qualification schemes, including, where necessary, suitable training programmes, are available for the providers of energy audits.
  4. Certification aspects are also part of the EPBD. Its Article 17 establishes that Member States must ensure that the energy performance certification of buildings and the inspection of heating systems and air-conditioning systems are carried out in an independent manner by qualified and/or accredited experts, whether operating in a self-employed capacity or employed by public bodies or private enterprises. Experts must be accredited taking into account their competence. This Article requires that Member States must make available to the public information on training and accreditation. Member States must ensure that regularly updated lists of accredited companies which offer the services of such experts are made available to the public. Similarly, under Article 17(1) of the EED on information and training, Member States must ensure that information on available energy efficiency mechanisms and financial and legal frameworks is widely disseminated to all relevant market actors such as consumers or environmental and energy auditors.
  5. Where it is relevant, the Commission services encourage Member States to explore synergies between the transposition and implementation of Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive and of the implementation of the EPBD (in particular Articles 17 and 18[5]), especially as regards the national supervisory authorities set up under national legislation to make sure that energy audits are cost effective and carried out in an independent and cost-effective manner by qualified and/or accredited experts according to certain qualification criteria or implemented and supervised by independent authorities under national legislation. These qualification criteria may nevertheless differ substantially given that the scope of energy audits under the EED is wider than the certification of buildings under the EPBD. In particular, the focus of energy audits under the EED – even for buildings and households – goes beyond the technical characteristics of the buildings and includes e.g. all electricity uses and behavioural changes such as impact of occupant activity on energy consumption.
  6. The Commission services equally encourage Member States to explore synergies and ensure consistency between the qualification/certification criteria and schemes of the EED and the EPBD when transposing and implementing their legal provisions. Accordingly, qualified energy auditors in the framework of the EED could be recognised as qualified experts to deliver EPCs in buildings. Furthermore, qualified experts to deliver EPCs in buildings could be targeted for training to become qualified energy auditors.
  7. This note aims to provide guidance to Member States on how to apply Article 8 of the EED. It states the views of the Commission, does not alter the legal effects of the Directive and is without prejudice to the binding interpretation of Article 8 as provided by the Court of Justice.

C.Obligation to promote the general availability of energy audits

  1. Under Article 8(1) of the EED, Member States must promote the availability to all final customers of high quality energy audits which are cost effective and (a) carried out in an independent manner by qualified and/or accredited experts according to qualification criteria; or (b) implemented and supervised by independent authorities under national legislation. These criteria (cost-effective, undertaken by qualified/accredited experts and supervised by independent authorities) have to be applied to energy audits promoted by Member States’ programmes – e.g. information campaigns or other support actions – and to those referred to under Article 8(4) (see section D1). As a consequence, Member States have to ensure that energy audits become available to all final customers and check that they fulfil the above-mentioned criteria. Article 8(1) does not impose a specific obligation to carry out energy audits.
  1. Energy audits must be carried out by either “qualified” or “accredited” experts. Accreditation is a public authority activity that ensures the continuous control of the technical competence of conformity assessment bodies. It ensures that audits carried out by experts meet the requirements of Annex VI of the EED. While there is a possibility to have qualified experts, it may be more difficult to demonstrate their competence through qualification schemes rather than accreditation. Regulation 765/2008[6] provides the EU definition of “accreditation”. It should be noted, however, that accreditation according to Regulation 765/2008 is normally provided to legal rather than natural persons. Qualification should therefore rather apply to those cases where an individual aims to become active as an expert.[7]
  1. Article 8(1) refers to promoting the availability to ‘all final customers‘ of high quality energy audits. ‘Final customer’ is defined in Article 2(23), and means a natural or legal person who purchases energy for own end use.
  1. Energy audits must not include clauses preventing the findings of the audit from being transferred (on condition that the customer does not object) to any qualified/accredited energy service provider. Energy audits referred to under Article 8(1) of the EED must be compliant with relevant data protection legislation, and in particular with Directive 95/46/EC[8].

D. Specific obligation for large enterprises to carry out regular energy audits

D1.      Scope of the obligation

  1. Under Article 8(4), Member States must ensure that large enterprises (‘that are not SMEs‘) carry out regular energy audits. Article 8(4) does not exclude any sector (for example Emissions Trading Systems – ETS – sectors or Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control – IPPC – licence holders). To be able to ensure that large enterprises fulfil the obligations established in Article 8(4), Member States have to identify the enterprises that fall under this obligation.
  1. When establishing the scope of this obligation, Member States must follow the definition of the category of ‘small and medium-sized enterprises‘ or ‘SMEs‘ in Article 2(26) of the Directive. According to this definition, SMEs are ‘enterprises as defined in Title I of the Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003; the category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million[9]. This harmonised definition allows consistent requirements for companies operating in different EU Member States.
  1. In order to be an SME an undertaking must first fall within the definition of ‘enterprise’, which is ‘any entity engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of its legal form‘. Any activity whereby goods and services are offered on a given market is an economic activity[10]. It is important to underline that the definition of SMEs in Article 2(26) does not refer to energy intensity or to energy consumption and that the definition, as a provision of a Directive, is fully legally binding.[11]
  1. It follows from the definition that the number of employees is the main criterion for determining whether an enterprise is an SME. The headcount is accompanied by a financial criterion, either turnover or balance sheet total. A SME does not need to satisfy both financial criteria.
  1. In line with Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, national labour rules apply as regards the definition of ’employees’. Apprentices and students with vocational training contracts should not be counted, nor should employees away on maternity or parental leave.
  1. According to this Recommendation, enterprises can use the data contained in their last approved annual accounts to make the staff and financial calculations. To calculate their data, enterprises registered in a given country have to establish whether they are autonomous, partner or linked enterprises[12]. Enterprises need to include the data of other related enterprises in other countries (including outside the EU) to assess whether they can be considered to be an SME or not. An enterprise that holds over 25% of capital or voting rights in another enterprise, or vice versa 25% of its capital or voting rights are held by a different enterprise, is a partner or linked enterprise. That means that the number of staff, turnover and/or balance sheet of the enterprises must be added together to see if they are below the SME threshold. It is still possible for two small linked enterprises to be SMEs. In general, most SMEs are autonomous since they are either completely independent or have one or more minority partnerships (each less than 25% with other enterprises). If an enterprise is autonomous, it needs to use only the number of employees and the financial data contained in its annual accounts to check if it respects the thresholds mentioned in point 20 above.
  1. As a result, small branches in one Member State may need to carry out an energy audit every four years because they do not fall within the definition of SME and therefore come within the category of large enterprises. This should not be considered as an extra burden or disproportionate[13] because on the one hand such enterprises may well be implementing energy management systems (see section D2) or may have arrangements whereby the branch could be helped with the audit, for example by in house experts from the parent company; and on the other hand, because the energy audit in question is likely to have a more limited scope and cost.
  1. The existence of a list of large enterprises may serve several purposes and help make such companies aware of their obligations under the EED. In some Member States, a register of enterprises that are not SMEs already exists. There are several other tools that Member States could consider using to know how many and which enterprises fall under the scope of the audit obligation on large enterprises. Both Eurostat and often national statistic offices have some analysis (at least total numbers) by enterprise size class, differentiating between large and SMEs in line with the EU harmonised definition of SME. Member States could consider using national obligations that enterprises submit consolidated accounts in line with the financial reporting legislation in the EU established in the 1970s and 1980s[14] as an indication of an enterprise’s status (as a large enterprise). This legislation has been amended in line with the harmonised EU definition of SME of 2006. In addition, stock exchange offices usually operate public registries of companies by sector and by size. Member States may also consider establishing other reporting mechanisms for large enterprises to report on compliance.
  1. It follows from Article 8(4) that enterprises other than SMEs must carry out a first energy audit, in a form that fulfils the requirements of Article 8(4), between the date of entry into force (4 December 2012) and, at the latest, 5 December 2015. Then, according to the maximum four-year interval, if the first energy audit took place, for example, on 15 January 2013, the next one must happen at the latest four years later (before 15 January 2017 in this example).
  1. Large enterprises that have carried out more than one energy audit before 5 December 2015 have flexibility to assess which audit is to be counted as the first one for the purposes of the Directive, provided that the energy audit in question fulfils the national minimum criteria for energy audits based on Annex VI.

D2.      Exemptions

  1. Article 8(6) provides exemptions to the obligation for large enterprises to carry out regular energy audits, when those enterprises are implementing an energy or environmental management system ‘certified by an independent body according to the relevant European or International Standards’. The definition of ‘energy management system’ is provided in Article 2(11) whereby it ‘means a set of interrelated or interacting elements of a plan which sets an energy efficiency objective and a strategy to achieve that objective‘. In the context of Article 8(6), the exemption from the audit obligation for large enterprises refers specifically to formalised energy management systems complying with relevant European and International Standards. This does not preclude that this independent body may be accredited by a national accreditation body according to Regulation 765/2008 which attests its technical competence to carry out its tasks.
  1. Typically, when a large company has in place an energy management system, a continuous energy review process is carried out to control and reduce energy use. The result of this process of detailed review of the energy consumption profile and identification of opportunities for energy saving is equivalent to that of discrete, regular energy audits. In addition, separate energy audits (with the same scope as the energy management system or with a narrower scope e.g. covering individual sites, buildings or processes) may also be carried out to support the implementation of the energy management system. For these reasons, enterprises that are implementing an energy or environmental management system – certified by an independent body according to the relevant European and International Standards – are considered to satisfy the energy audit requirement of Article 8(4) in terms of results and are therefore exempted from this obligation.
  1. In order for this exemption to apply the Member States must ensure that the management system concerned includes an energy audit on the basis of minimum criteria set out in Annex VI. In practice, this requires in the first place identifying the management system in question and the standard that it follows. Subsequently, the certification status of the management system and of the certification body (or for self-certification where applicable) needs to be checked to make sure that the implementation of the management system fulfils the requirements described in the following section (E2).
  1. Experience so far has shown that in many Member States energy audits and energy management systems are promoted through voluntary agreement programmes (sometimes referred to as branch contracts, programmes or sector plans). The most widespread are voluntary agreements in the industrial sector. In fact, for some of these programmes, implementing an energy management system is a prerequisite for participation in a voluntary agreement scheme. This is recognised in Article 8(5) of the Directive, which states that large enterprises implementing energy audits under voluntary agreements concluded between organisations of stakeholders and an appointed body and supervised by the Member State concerned, or other bodies to which the competent authorities have delegated the responsibility concerned, or by the Commission, are considered as fulfilling the requirements of Article 8(4).

D3.      Penalties

  1. Because the transposition of Article 8 requires Member States to impose obligations on third parties, Member States are required to lay down rules on penalties applicable in case of non-compliance with the national provisions adopted pursuant to this Article (see Article 13). These penalties must be ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive’ and must be notified to the Commission within 18 months of the coming into force of the Directive.
  2. Ensuring high-quality audits

E1.      Expertise, including the use of in-house experts or energy auditors, and national supervision

  1. The criteria of expertise and national supervision for the energy audits under Article 8(4) are identical to those of Article 8(1) described in point 15 above. In other words the same criteria apply when large enterprises fulfil their energy audit obligations and when Member States promote the use of energy audits. Accordingly, Article 8(4) requires Member States to ensure that enterprises that are not SMEs are ‘subject to an energy audit carried out in an independent and cost-effective manner by qualified and/or accredited experts or implemented and supervised by independent authorities under national legislation by 5 December 2015 and at least every four years from the date of the previous energy audit‘.
  1. The possibility for in-house experts or energy auditors to carry out energy audits only applies for those subject to the strict criteria named in 8(1) and 8(4), e. carried out in an independent and cost-effective manner by qualified and/or accredited experts or implemented or supervised by independent authorities under national legislation. The condition for in-house experts or energy auditors to carry out energy audits is that the Member State concerned has put in place a scheme to assure and check their quality, including, if appropriate, an annual random selection of at least a statistically significant percentage of all the energy audits they carry out (Article 8(1)). The national scheme for checking the quality of in-house experts or energy auditors can be the same as for external ones. Where energy audits are carried out by in-house experts, the necessary independence would require these experts not to be directly engaged in the activity audited (recital 25).

E2.      Minimum criteria to be fulfilled

  1. For the purpose of guaranteeing the high quality of the energy audit and energy management systems, Member States must establish transparent and non-discriminatory minimum criteria for energy audits based on Annex VI on ‘Minimum criteria for energy audits including those carried out as part of energy management systems‘.
  1. The national minimum criteria to be established on the basis of Annex VI apply to energy audits promoted by the Member States under Article 8(1) and mandatory audits by large enterprises under Article 8(4). As mentioned before, these audits also need to satisfy the strict criteria for expertise and national supervision (see previous section). The respect of national minimum criteria on the basis of Annex VI and of strict criteria for expertise and national supervision apply equally to Articles 8(5) and 8(6) as they provide for exemptions and for equivalent requirements to those established in Article 8(4), e. regular energy audits for large enterprises. Other energy audits that may be implemented in the Member States and that are not promoted by Member States and not implemented by large enterprises to fulfil the mandatory requirement are not subject to these strict requirements.
  1. In line with recital 24, the minimum criteria in Annex VI are not more far reaching than the requirements of the relevant European or International Standards. It follows from the wording of this recital that energy audits should take into account relevant European or International Standards, such as, for example, EN ISO 50001 (Energy Management Systems), or EN 16247-1 (Energy Audits)[15], or, if including an energy audit, EN ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems).
  1. These standards can provide useful guidance in developing national minimum criteria on the basis of Annex VI. Furthermore, EN 16247-1 was developed specifically in the context of the former Energy Services Directive and could be applied as a consistent tool as part of a wider management system (e.g. EN ISO 50001 or EN ISO 14000). There is a new ISO International Standard 50002 under development setting standards for conducting an energy audit. It should be noted that although reference is made to both ISO 50001 and ISO 14000, ISO 50001 targets specifically energy consumption, whilst ISO 14000 focuses more generally on environmental improvements. The consideration of European or International Standards is useful towards creating a level playing field for enterprises with activities in several Member States.
  1. Annex VI establishes the guidelines on which the energy audits referred to in Article 8 must be based, in practice giving requirements for the thoroughness and content of the energy audit reports. The minimum criteria in Annex VI include guidelines on the data to be used, the depth and scope of the audit, the recommended cost analysis and the quality requirements in terms of representativeness of the energy audits referred to in Article 8.
  1. These guidelines consist of six elements or criteria which should be examined in each case and which should each be incorporated in some way in the minimum criteria to be established at national level. On the basis of Annex VI, national minimum criteria need to make clear that energy audits must be based on up-to-date data on energy consumption and comprise a detailed review of the energy consumption profile, building whenever possible on life-cycle cost analysis. Energy audits must allow the reliable identification of the most significant opportunities for improvement in energy efficiency, permitting detailed calculations for the proposed measures. The data used in energy audits must allow performance to be tracked. The resulting national minimum criteria should therefore lead to quite comprehensive and thorough energy audits.
  1. Member States may add additional elements when developing criteria based on Annex VI. They may also indicate in which circumstances a particular part of the six elements or criteria would be most relevant (e.g. life-cycle cost analysis). Member States through their national minimum criteria may tailor the needs for different segments where they promote energy audits, for instance to SMEs (for whom a detailed audit may not be cost-effective), a public service (e.g. a city public transport service) or households.
  1. The first guideline in Annex VI (a) is that energy audits must be based on up-to date, measured, traceable operational data on energy consumption and, in the case of electricity, load profiles. These data are needed to analyse energy performance of the audited object.
  1. Annex VI (b) states that energy audits must comprise a detailed review of the energy consumption profile of buildings or groups of buildings, industrial operations or installations, including transportation. Such detailed review allows building the data needed to identify energy performance improvements opportunities.
  1. The guideline for energy audits in Annex VI(c) is to build, whenever possible, on life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA[16]) instead of Simple Payback Periods (SPP)[17] in order to take account of long-term savings, residual values of long-term investments and discount rates. This is particularly relevant in cases where audits need to be of such quality that investment decisions can be based on them. For example in the residential sector, it is increasingly common to link support under financial instruments to carrying out an energy audit as a starting point for energy efficiency projects. The inclusion of additional financial indicators such as Discounted Payback, Internal Rate of Return or Return on Investment is helps building confidence of investors and getting access to funding[18].
  1. Annex VI(d) states that energy audits must be sufficiently representative to permit the drawing of a reliable picture of overall energy performance and the reliable identification of the most significant opportunities of improvement. Therefore, national minimum criteria based on Annex VI must make clear that all energy related aspects listed in point (b) (buildings or groups of buildings, industrial operations or installations, including transportation) must be systematically screened. According to this screening, the scope and boundaries (e. physical or site limits, extent of activities or facilities addressed) of each energy audit and the degree of thoroughness needed for drawing up the required reliable assessment are to be defined on a case by case basis.
  1. Examples of possible scopes are the whole site of an enterprise and all energy using systems or the boiler plant, one or more production lines or the offices, the vehicle fleet or the on-site transportation. Different levels of detail are also possible, depending for instance on whether accuracy sufficient for investment decisions is needed, or whether it is necessary to visit a proportion of similar sites of the same company. The obligation for large enterprises to carry out an energy audit at least every four years is not in contradiction with carrying out audits with narrower scopes over a period of time and within the four year periodicity of the audit requirement. Consideration could be given for example to planning energy audits for different sites or focusing first on processes and later on office buildings, with different timeframes within the four-year cycle.
  1. The flexibility to adjust both the scope and boundaries and the level of detail must not contradict the requirement to make a representative assessment of the overall energy performance and to identify and prioritise energy saving opportunities. For instance, it would not be justifiable for an enterprise for which the transportation aspects of its operations are the main user of energy not to include this in the scope of the energy audit. On the other hand, the energy audit of a given enterprise is not expected to assess the energy use of its transport service providers (if these come from a different enterprise). The specific European Standard dealing with the transport aspects of energy audits may provide useful guidance in this regard. This Standard applies both to operators exclusively dedicated to transport and to public or private companies with some transport operations.
  1. Annex VI also indicates that the energy audits referred to in Article 8 must allow detailed and validated calculations to provide clear information on potential savings. The data used in energy audits must be storable for historical analysis. This means that relevant data, used or produced during the audit work, must be presented in the energy audit reports in a form that can be used for e.g. programme level monitoring purposes.
  1. When developing national minimum criteria for energy audits, European or international standards may in particular provide useful guidance for the definition of the scope and level of detail of an energy audit. For example standards can provide guidance for the assessment of levels of detail that an energy audit may require, tailored to the subject of the audit (i.e. building or group of buildings, an industrial or commercial operation or installation or a private or public service) and with sufficient flexibility to adapt to particular circumstances. Furthermore, standards may provide useful guidance for the planning of the audit, data collection, specific checklists to evaluate actual energy performance (e.g. in industrial processes, in buildings), typical energy and financial saving opportunities or the content of the audit report. European or international standards also provide examples of how to strike the right balance between the scope and thoroughness of an energy audit.
  1. Energy audits may stand alone or be part of a broader environmental audit. Member States may require that an assessment of the technical and economic feasibility of connection to an existing or planned district heating or cooling network must be part of the energy audit. To identify the full scope of energy saving options, energy audits may also consider storage possibilities or potential for demand response in industries and commercial buildings.

F.Training programmes for the qualification of energy auditors and availability of qualification, accreditation and certification schemes

  1. A sufficient number of reliable professionals competent in the field of energy efficiency should be available to ensure the effective and timely implementation of and compliance with the requirements of the Directive on energy audits. For this purpose, Member States are required to encourage training programmes for the qualification of energy auditors (Article 8(3)).
  1. Member States should put in place certification schemes for the providers of energy audits to make sure that a sufficient number of reliable professionals be available (see recital 46).
  1. To further reinforce the availability of qualified experts, in accordance with Article 16 on availability of qualification, accreditation and certification schemes, where a Member State considers that the national level of technical competence, objectivity and reliability is insufficient, the Member State must ensure that, by 31 December 2014, certification and/or accreditation schemes and/or equivalent qualification schemes, including, where necessary, suitable training programmes, become available for the providers of energy audits. Member States have discretion as to how to assess the national level of technical competence, objectivity and reliability, but if this is considered to be insufficient the previously mentioned actions must be taken before 31 December 2014.

Member States must ensure that qualification, accreditation and certification schemes provide transparency to consumers, are reliable and contribute to national energy efficiency objectives. Member States must take appropriate measures to make consumers aware of the availability of qualification and/or certification schemes. They must make publicly available the certification and/or accreditation schemes or equivalent qualification schemes and must cooperate among themselves and with the Commission on comparisons between, and recognition of, the schemes. The latter is important to address the sometimes diverse qualification criteria and respective quality control schemes across Member States. Moving in the direction of mutual recognition of schemes would open the European market for energy auditors. In this respect, a European-wide accreditation scheme that ensures the quality of audits may eventually be envisaged.

  1. Under Article 17(1) on information and training, Member States must ensure that information on available energy efficiency mechanisms and financial and legal frameworks is widely disseminated to all relevant market actors such as consumers or environmental and energy auditors.

G.Obligations to develop programmes to encourage SMEs to undergo energy audits and to raise awareness among households

  1. Article 8(2) of the Directive establishes that Member States must develop programmes to encourage SMEs to undergo energy audits and the subsequent implementation of the recommendations from these audits.
  1. SMEs represent enormous energy saving potential for the Union. To encourage them to adopt energy efficiency measures, Member States should establish a favourable framework aimed at providing SMEs with technical assistance and targeted information (see recital 41).
  1. Member States must bring to the attention of SMEs, including through their respective representative organisations, concrete examples of how energy management systems could help their businesses. The Commission must assist Member States by supporting the exchange of best practices in this domain.
  1. Member States must also (Article 8(3)) develop programmes to raise awareness among households of the benefits of energy audits through appropriate counselling or advice services. Articles 8(2) and 8(3) do not impose a specific obligation to carry out energy audits.

H. National support schemes

  1. Article 8 requires Member States to actively promote the availability and the use of energy audits and the implementation of their recommendations. The scope of national promotion activities covers a wide range of areas. Compulsory measures that Member States must take include encouraging training programmes for auditors (Article 8(3)); programmes encouraging SMEs to undergo energy audits and the subsequent implementation of the recommendations from these audits (Article 8(2)); programmes to raise awareness among SME (Article 8(2)) and households (Article 8(3)). The national promotion programmes may be or may encompass support schemes, including State aid. The Article explicitly allows the setting up of support schemes for SMEs to carry out and implement energy audits. Article 8(2) reads: ‘[…] On the basis of transparent and non-discriminatory criteria and without prejudice to Union State aid law, Member States may set up support schemes for SMEs, including if they have concluded voluntary agreements, to cover costs of an energy audit and of the implementation of highly cost-effective recommendations from the energy audits, if the proposed measures are implemented […]‘.
  1. Likewise, Member States are explicitly allowed to set up incentives and support schemes for enterprises, including non-SME enterprises, to implement the recommendations of energy audits and similar measures. Similar measures are energy or environmental management systems implemented either stand alone or under a Voluntary Agreement, and having equivalence with energy audits. Article 8(7) reads: ‘[…] Without prejudice to Union State aid law, Member States may implement incentive and support schemes for the implementation of recommendations from energy audits and similar measures’. Support schemes, when they contain State aid elements, should be without prejudice to the Union State aid law. This includes the Community Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection[19] and the Block Exemption Regulations[20].
  1. Article 8 makes the promotion of audits an important objective and creates a framework to overcome the market barriers and failures[21] that impede the implementation of energy audits or equivalent energy management systems and the implementation their results. It specifically allows support measures to overcome barriers such as lack of awareness and expertise among households and SMEs, the low number of trained professionals and high initials costs of implementation without which audits would not be carried out and implemented on the scale required.

[1] Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2012/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC, OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, p.1.

[2] Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on energy end-use efficiency and energy services, OJ L 114, 27.4.2006, p.64.

[3] Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings (recast), OJ L 153, 18.6.2010, p.13.

[4] Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002on the energy performance of buildings, OJ L1, 4.1.2003, p.65.

[5] These articles include provisions on independent experts and independent control system, respectively.

[6] Regulation (EC) No. 765/2008 defines ‘accreditation’ as ‘an attestation by a national accreditation body that a conformity assessment body meets the requirements set by harmonised standards and, where applicable, any additional requirements including those set out in relevant sectoral schemes, to carry out a specific conformity assessment activity’.

[7] EMAS (Community eco-management and audit scheme) is an exception to this case and allows for the accreditation of natural persons.

[8] Directive 95/46 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, OJ L281, 23/11/1995, p. 31.

[9] See Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003, OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p.36.

[10] Case 118/85 Commission v Italy [1987] ECR 2599, paragraph 7; Case C-35/96 Commission v Italy [1998] ECR I-3851, CNSD, paragraph 36), C-309/99 Wouters [2002] ECR I-1577, paragraph 46.

[11] Note that Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of May 2003 forms part of the legal ‘acquis’ in other areas of EU law, for instance the definition of SME contained in this Recommendation is included in the Annex to the General Block Exemption Regulation, Commission Regulation 800/2008.

[12] In general, most SMEs are autonomous since they are either completely independent or have one or more minority partnerships (each less than 25%) with other enterprises. If that holding rises to no more than 50%, the relationship is deemed to be between partner enterprises. Above that ceiling the enterprises are linked.

[13] Annex VI(d) requires energy audits to be ‘‘proportionate’‘. The principle of proportionality implies testing that a legislative or administrative measure or means is appropriate and necessary in order to reach or achieve a given goal or objective. The Court of Justice of the European Union applies the proportionality principle when it balances legislative measures against private interests, individual rights and fundamental freedoms.

[14] See in particular the so-called 4th Company Law Directive on annual accounts (Directive 78/660/EEC) and the 7th Company Law Directive on consolidated accounts (Directive 83/349/EEC).

[15]As part of the standardisation work on energy audits in the framework of the mandate M/479 from the European Commission to CEN and CENELEC, this first standard on general requirements for energy audits has been published. Specific standards on energy audits in buildings, processes and transport are being finalised. In addition, a specific additional standard for the qualification of energy auditors is under preparation.

[16] As possible guidance specifically in the buildings context, the LCCA concept has been used in the Delegated Regulation 244/2012 on methodology framework for calculating cost-optimal levels of minimum energy performance requirements for buildings and building elements. The accompanying guidelines on LCCA (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2012:115:0001:0028:EN:PDF) on page 21 provide some more detailed explanations. This is largely based on EN 15459 Economic evaluation procedure for energy systems in buildings.

[17] An energy investment’s Simple Payback Period is the amount of time it will take to recover the initial investment in energy savings, dividing initial installed cost by the annual energy cost savings. While Simple Payback is easy to compute, its weakness is that it fails to factor in the time value of money, inflation, project lifetime or operation and maintenance costs.

[18] Discounted Payback period is a variation of payback period which accounts for time value of money by discounting the cash inflows from a project. Internal Rate of Return is the rate that makes the present value of all cash flows from a particular investment equal to zero. Return on Investment is the ration of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.

[19] OJ C 82, 1.4.2008. The Guidelines are under revision to take into account new developments, including the EED.

[20] Commission Regulation 800/2008, OJ L 214, 9.8.2008. The Regulation is under revision to take into account new developments, including the EED.

[21] The Article replaces Article 12 of the ESD.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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