ISO 50001 Energy Management System

What Is ISO 50001?

The ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management System (EnMS) Standard, which replaces the ISO 50001:2011 standard, defines an energy management system as a set of interrelated elements to establish energy policy and objectives and processes and procedures to achieve these objectives. Many industries, including manufacturing, commercial buildings, utilities, government facilities, and military bases, use ISO 50001 to improve operational efficiency, save energy and reduce costs.

For organizations that have an Energy Management System certificate according to the current ISO 50001:2011 standard, the deadline for converting their documents to the ISO 50001:2018 standard is August 20, 2021.

ISO 50001 Energy Management System History

ISO 50001 was developed in 2011 by experts from around the world who joined ISO / TC 301, the committee that develops the portfolio of ISO 50001 standards and guidance documents. As of 2017, approximately 23,000 facilities worldwide have received ISO 50001 certification. The growth of ISO 50001 is expected to accelerate as an increasing number of companies integrate ISO 50001 into their corporate sustainability strategies and supplier requirements.

ISO 50001 is based on the same management system model used for ISO 9001 and 14001. This compliance makes it easier for organizations to integrate energy management into their quality and environmental management efforts. However, ISO 50001 includes new data-driven chapters on energy planning, operational control, and measurement and monitoring.

The revised version of the standard, ISO 50001: 2018, was published on August 21, 2018. The revised version increases clarity on its applicability for businesses and organizations around the world. ISO 50001 certification provides internal and external proof of performance and reliability. The growth of ISO 50001 is expected to accelerate as more companies integrate ISO 50001 into their corporate sustainability strategies and supplier requirements.

ISO 50001 Energy Management System History

ISO 50001 was developed in 2011 by experts from around the world who joined ISO / TC 301, the committee that develops the portfolio of ISO 50001 standards and guidance documents. As of 2017, approximately 23,000 facilities worldwide have received ISO 50001 certification. The growth of ISO 50001 is expected to accelerate as an increasing number of companies integrate ISO 50001 into their corporate sustainability strategies and supplier requirements.

ISO 50001 is based on the same management system model used for ISO 9001 and 14001. This compliance makes it easier for organizations to integrate energy management into their quality and environmental management efforts. However, ISO 50001 includes new data-driven chapters on energy planning, operational control, and measurement and monitoring.

The revised version of the standard, ISO 50001: 2018, was published on August 21, 2018. The revised version increases clarity on its applicability for businesses and organizations around the world. ISO 50001 certification provides internal and external proof of performance and reliability. The growth of ISO 50001 is expected to accelerate as more companies integrate ISO 50001 into their corporate sustainability strategies and supplier requirements.

ISO 50001 requires continuous energy performance improvement. However, it does not include prescriptive energy performance improvement targets. Instead, the standard provides a general framework within which each organization can set and monitor its own targets for improving energy performance.

The key steps for successful ISO 50001 certification are:

  • Commitment to secure management
  • Energy policy determination
  • Empower an energy team
  • Determining where energy is used
  • Establishing plans to improve significant energy use
  • Management approves plans
  • Track progress and re-evaluate energy action plans.

Continuous improvement model

The ISO 50001 framework ensures that energy-related interests are prioritized and integrates with a continuous improvement model and smart technologies that enable data use and control of energy use.

The model is divided into four phases: Plan, Do, Check and Act. Each of these steps has additional tasks that companies should highlight:

Plan: Companies need to comprehend the relevant requirements, get commitment from management, set energy and flexibility goals, and constitute an energy team to meet ISO 50001 requirements.

Do: People on the energy team need to know where energy is being used and who is using it most, where the company is most vulnerable, and create a list of energy opportunities based on the first three items.

Check: This includes prioritizing energy upgrades, reviewing energy data, and performing internal audits. It also requires the team to meet the reporting requirements.

Act: This final step compares energy use across the team, identifies variables that affect energy use, evaluates energy billing and supply, and ensures appropriate operations and management.

Business reasons to enact ISO 50001

Today, energy management is an area of increasing interest and concern to companies around the world due to its potential to control costs, improve energy efficiency, improve environmental quality and increase a company’s overall competitiveness. Using energy smarter and better can increase a company’s overall profit. The ISO 50001 international energy management system standard provides organizations with a proven approach to developing an energy management plan that addresses critical aspects of energy performance, including energy use, measurement, documentation, reporting, design and supply practices, and other variables that affect energy management.

Adoption of ISO 50001 is important for establishing a systematic and sustainable approach to the management of energy within a facility. Compliance with the standard demonstrates that a facility has implemented sustainable energy management systems, completed the foundation of energy use, and is committed to continuous improvement in energy performance.

The value of certification will be driven by market forces in supply chains, potential benefit incentive programs requiring ISO 50001, and the standard’s relationship to future carbon reduction policies.

A DOE analysis found the following results from 10 ISO 50001 certified facilities:

  • Annual cost savings of $36,000 – $938,000
  • 12% reduction in energy costs within 15 months after first application (average)
  • Energy performance improvements between 5.6% and 30.6% over three years
  • Savings of $430,000 or more each year from low or no-charge operational improvements.

ISO 50001 Advantages

ISO 50001 EnMS requires skills from two different fields: management system auditors and energy efficiency professionals. Management systems professionals are often unfamiliar with energy issues, and energy efficiency professionals are often unfamiliar with management system processes.

Energy efficiency professionals lacking the skills to implement a management system risk installing an ineffective EnMS without a top management-based continuous improvement process. Management system auditors, who lack the skills necessary to evaluate an organization’s continuous improvement in energy performance, certify organizations without measurable energy performance improvement.