Reviewing ESOS Compliance for Unite Students

Working with Anthesis gave us the opportunity to focus on more than just the obvious, large scale energy opportunities and bring in a high level of technical expertise that we simply didn’t have in house. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Anthesis and look forward to continuing to work with them on bringing our buildings up to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.”

 James Tiernan – Energy Manager, Unite Students


Unite Students are the leading provider of student accommodation in the UK, providing a home for over 46,000 students. Its large building portfolio, consisting of 138 purpose built properties, was included in the scope for ESOS assessments. As Unite was already rolling out a series of heating and lighting upgrades, it needed to identify additional areas where improvements could be made.

In addition to ESOS, Unite wished to mitigate risks from the forthcoming Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations.


Anthesis and Unite Students undertook a works programme that met the requirements for both ESOS and MEES. A stock-modelling approach was taken, allowing Anthesis to refresh the EPCs of Unite’s properties and group them into property archetypes.

Key Project Outputs

  • A report was produced clearly outlining how Unite can continue to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
  • We also presented Unite Students with a user-friendly stock model including extensive asset level data to allow cost-effective re-modelling in future.


The process identified approximately £150 million in lifetime savings that can be achieved if all the recommended measures are carried out. The methodical approach adopted in obtaining this figure has allowed Unite’s Energy and Environment team to present a robust business case for executive approval, placing carbon and energy savings at the centre of their operational activity. The work also puts Unite in an excellent position to comply with MEES.

The measures with the largest savings are heating upgrades and heat pumps. Unite also trialled air source heat pumps ahead of a wider rollout.