Energy used by company cars and vans (including grey fleets) must be included in a new Audit designed to meet EU regulations. Experts have already suggested that the audit _ which is likely to affect thousands of fleets _ could result in a significant reduction in the amount of corporate mileage. This is particularly the case with employees who drive their own cars on business. The new energy audits are mandatory, and are designed to promote faster take-up of energy efficiency measures, with the eventual aim being to reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality as a whole. As part of the drive to meet the EU's Energy Efficiency Directive, the UK Government has established the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). The Scheme requires all non-SMEs to complete an audit every four years, with public organisations currently exempt. (The scheme classes SMEs as companies employing 250 or more people or with an annual turnover that exceeds £40 million). Qualifying firms must measure their total energy consumption across transport, building and industrial activities during an initial 12 month period, with the first report being sent to the scheme administrator at the Environment Agency by December 5, 2015. The qualification date for the first audit, meanwhile, is December 31, 2014. The initial audit must include new recommendations for cost-effective energy efficiency measures, with estimated costs and benefits quantified. Interestingly enough, participants are not required to implement the energy efficiency recommendations that are identified by their ESOS assessments. However, the government has said that firms will only achieve the financial benefits of avoiding energy waste if the recommendations are implemented. Energy efficiency recommendations could collectively lead to £1.6 billion savings for businesses in the period leading up to 2030. Greg Baker, the until-recently energy minister, said: 'We know that many businesses in the UK are already committed to energy efficiency. "But we also know that there is still significant untapped energy potential in the UK economy. ESOS will help large organisations identify savings they can make on energy bills.î The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) established ESOS, and have estimated that around 9,400 companies will qualify for the analysis, with around 8,500 of them assumed to be fleet operators. The government's own ESOS guide estimates that an audit could trigger a 2 per cent reduction in energy consumption for business travel in company car fleets, and 1 per cent in vans.