ISO 50001 Energy management systems - Requirements with guidance for use, is an international standard created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The standard specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system, whose purpose is to enable an organization to follow a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy security, energy use and consumption.
The standard aims to help organizations continually reduce their energy use, and therefore their energy costs and their greenhouse gas emissions.
ISO 50001 was originally released by ISO in June 2011 and is suitable for any organization, whatever its size, sector or geographical location. The second edition, ISO 50001:2018 was released in August 2018.
ISO 50001 is based on the management system model of continual improvement also used for other well-known standards such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001. This makes it easier for organizations to integrate energy management into their overall efforts to improve quality and environmental management.
Develop a policy for more efficient use of energy
Fix targets and objectives to meet the policy
Use data to better understand and make decisions about energy use
Measure the results
Review how well the policy works, and
Continually improve energy management.
What are the requirements of ISO 50001 Energy management system:
The ISO 50001 standard is a framework for any organizations to manage their energy use. Including all aspects of energy procurement and use.
An Energy Management System establishes the structure and processes needed to implement strategies that reduce energy costs over time.
ISO 50001:2018 specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system.
The goal of the ISO 50001 requirements is to empower an organization to be guided by a structured, process approach in continual improvement of energy usage.
ISO 50001:2018 defines requirements for energy use and consumption. These requirements include measurement, process definition, and documentation. It also defines procurement practices for equipment, systems, processes and personnel that contribute to energy efficiency.
The key steps to successful ISO 50001 certification include:
Secure management commitment
Set an energy policy
Empower an energy team
Identify where energy is used
Create plans to improve significant energy use
Management approves plans
Track progress and reassess energy action plans.
Continuous improvement model
The ISO 50001 framework allows for energy-related interests to be prioritized and integrates with smart technologies that provide data and control of energy use through a continuous improvement model.
The model is broken down into four steps: Plan, do, check and act. Each of those steps has additional tasks companies need to emphasize:
Plan. Companies need to understand the requirements involved, get commitments from management, set energy and resiliency goals and structure an energy team that will work on meeting ISO 50001 requirements.
Do. The people involved in the energy team need to know where energy is being used and who is using the most, where the company is most vulnerable and create a list of energy opportunities based on the first three items.
Act. This involves prioritizing energy upgrades, reviewing energy data and conducting internal audits. It also requires the team to meet report requirements.
Check. This final step has the team benchmark energy use, identify the variables impacting energy use, assess energy billing and procurement, ensure proper operations and management (O&M).
An ISO 50001 EnMS requires skills from two different communities: management system auditors and energy efficiency experts. Management system experts are often not familiar with energy issues and energy efficiency experts are often not familiar with management system processes. This impasse causes unique problems for both sides they need to bridge.
Energy efficiency professionals without the skills to implement a management system risk establishing an ineffective EnMS without a top management-driven continuous improvement process. Management system auditors that don’t have the required skills for assessing an organization’s continuous improvement in energy performance risk certifying organizations without measurable energy performance improvement.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), realizing that effective implementation requires a skill set not readily available in the market, initiated the Institute for Energy Management Professionals (lEnMP) in 2010 to offer professional credentials to meet this market challenge. This program, launched in the early days when ISO 50001 was still being worked on, today offers a range of fully-accredited professional credentials to meet this market need.
The DOE’s initiatives expand to other companies, as well, in their bid to improve energy efficiency. For example, CenterPoint Energy, a domestic delivery energy company based in Houston, Texas, coordinates with the DOE to provide additional resources.
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