What is ISO 50001?
ISO 50001:2011 Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use is a specification created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for an energy management system.
ISO 50001 is the new international standard for energy management. It parallels and complements ISO 9001 for quality management, and ISO 14001 for environmental management. ISO 50001 was published in June 2011.
ISO 50001 does NOT include energy use goals. ISO 50001 simply ensures that you have a credible and effective management process in place to reach your energy use goals. You set your own goals in accordance with your own requirements and vision.
What kinds of organizations might benefit from an ISO 50001 energy management system? Any organization that uses energy can benefit from implementing an energy management system. Manufacturers, IT operations, airports, heavy equipment operations, food processors, and chemical and pharmaceutical plants are just a few of the candidates that would most benefit from an ISO 50001 energy management system. The greater your energy use, the more you will benefit.
How does one use ISO 50001?
An ISO 50001 energy management system enables you to systematically set and reach your organization’s energy use goals, wherever you choose to set them, and realize the energy cost savings. In addition, many government and utility energy programs require that an effective Energy Management System (EnMS) be put in place to qualify for program benefits. An ISO 50001 EnMS will become the universally accepted standard.
ISO 50001:2011 provides a framework of requirements for organizations to:
- 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.
There are many benefits to developing and implementing an ISO 50001 energy management system.
- Reduced energy consumption as projects are implemented;
- Controlled energy costs as energy use is reduced;
- Improved O&M as equipment use declines or is throttled back, and energy monitoring yields performance information;
- Decreased environmental impact from waste;
- Preparation for emissions tracking and reporting regimes;
- Public credibility for energy consciousness;
- An engaged and aware workforce as workers are drawn into the energy management process, resulting in decreased recruitment costs.
What does it take to develop an ISO 50001 Energy Management System? This varies depending upon the kind of processes being managed, the scope of the plan, the variety of energy sources used, and whether or not an organization already has some other ISO plan and mechanisms in place. In broad terms, however, an ISO 50001 EnMS takes 12 to 18 months to develop and implement. It requires an internal ‘Energy Leader’ and a small team of employees to develop the system, and set it in motion.