ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems

Paul Downing

ISO 50001:2011, Energy Management Systems (EnMS) is a new voluntary International Standard that establishes a framework for large and small businesses to improve the way they manage energy. Improved energy performance can provide financial benefits for an organization by maximizing the use of its energy resources and energy-related assets, thus reducing both energy consumption and cost. It also helps to provide evidence to customers that are demanding improved environmental performance from their suppliers.

The new standard is based on the tried and tested plan-do-check-act, (Demming cycle) which is used for many of the other standards such as ISO 14001:2004 (environmental management systems), so it can be easily integrated into these existing systems.

Although an energy management system (EnMS) can be part of an environmental management system (EMS), having a dedicated energy management system compliant to ISO 50001 can help deliver real benefits to organisations wishing to make savings on probably one of their most expensive resource costs, by providing a focus on oil, gas, electricity and general energy use. The EMS in contrast might focus on other regulatory issues such as waste production or chemical use, which, whilst important, do not have the same financial implications as energy.

Implementing an energy management system certified to ISO 50001, requires you to determine energy baseline(s), identify significant energy uses and energy performance indicators as well as structuring objectives and targets to drive down energy use via a systemised approach. There are also specific clauses relating to design (refurbishment projects, new build) and procurement, including specifying energy purchasing requirements for new assets or services.

You can download an ISO 50001 checklist here.

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