Many businesses need to report on their transport energy consumption because of mandatory schemes such as the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR). Companies not in scope of any schemes may still want to keep track of their transport-related energy use for a variety of reasons, such as budget and climate goals. Here’s how to get started on reporting that information in the most useful way possible.

What to include

ESOS makes it compulsory to report on energy consumption relating to transport that is actually operated by your company. This might mean company cars on business use, fleet vehicles and personal cars being used for the purposes of your business. It does not include planes, ships or trains unless these are actually operated by your business.

SECR also requires you to report on the energy consumption of the transport your company operates, plus the related emissions. SECR also requires large unquoted companies and large LLPs to report on energy consumption by rental vehicles or employee-owned cars, if the journey is for business purposes and the employee buys the fuel themselves.

Businesses reporting under SECR are encouraged to go beyond the legal minimum and voluntarily report on scope 3 transport emissions. This means emissions from third-party sources such as taxis, planes or trains used by your employees in the service of company business. This of course also means calculating the underlying energy consumption.

Even if your business is not in scope of any schemes, your reporting should draw a clear boundary between the sources of energy consumption you own or control and those you do not. The concept of scopes relates to emissions rather than energy consumption, but it is a useful categorisation tool.

Gathering data

Ideally, you will have records of how much actual petrol or diesel has been consumed. If your company vehicles all fuel up on-site, you simply need to look at how much fuel your own pumps have dispensed. If not, you will be getting your fuel purchase data from expenses receipts or fuel cards.

However, the data isn’t always available in this form, in which case you may have to work out the fuel consumption from the mileage or the fuel spending. Your results won’t be as accurate than if you could provide the actual fuel consumption figures, because of the number of different variables involved: engine efficiency, price changes, vehicle load and so on. But it is a lot better than having gaps in your data.

Calculating fuel consumption from mileage

To calculate petrol or diesel consumption from the mileage, you will need to know the model of the vehicle and typical mileage per gallon, then divide the mileage by the vehicle’s mpg.

Calculating fuel consumption from spending

To calculate energy consumption from the amount spent, you need to have a figure for the price of the petrol or diesel. Your calculations will be more accurate if you know the prices at the specific petrol station used, but if not, you can just do a guesstimate based on national average prices at the time of purchase. Divide the amount paid in pounds by the cost per litre to get the quantity of fuel.

Using the correct units

If you are measuring your company’s transport energy consumption for a mandatory scheme such as ESOS, you will need to ensure that the data is reported in the correct units. For ESOS, this means using either an energy unit such as kWh, or reporting your energy in terms of spending and using £ sterling as your unit.

The UK government publishes tables of conversion factors that give you the figures to convert litres of petrol or diesel into kWh.

If your business is not in scope of any compulsory schemes and measuring its transport energy consumption is for other purposes, choose whatever unit of measurement that serves the needs of your business. But in the highly likely scenario that you are also measuring energy consumption in other areas of the business, you will need to choose a common unit so that energy consumption can be expressed as an overall total.

If you need advice on reporting transport energy consumption, or indeed any aspect of your energy reporting, get in touch on 01253 785409 or email energy-hub@biu.com.

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