ISO 50001 specifies the Energy Management System (EnMS) requirements to implement an Energy Policy and achieve those policy commitments and procedures to systematically track, analyze, and improve energy efficiency within an organization. The EnMS establishes objectives, targets and action plans to improve energy performance.  A US Department of Energy study validated the energy and cost savings from ISO 50001. The study showed that companies saved 12%, on average, in the first 15 months of ISO 50001 implementation. Most times the payback from all costs associated with ISO 50001 is 2 years or less, and many times is less than 1 year.

Energy Management Systems

ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems – Requirements for guidance for use is a voluntary International Standard developed to establish the requirements for energy management systems within an organization. The standard was developed in 2011 by the International Organization for Standardization in response to the need for manufacturing firms and other organizations to improve energy performance through implementation of a management system to measure, control, and reduce energy use.

Following the earlier successes of the ISO Quality and Environmental Management standards to facilitate continuous improvement through enhanced management systems, it is both economically and environmentally beneficial for organizations to apply those same principles to the sourcing, use, and control of all energy forms.

Individual Organizations cannot control energy prices, government policies or the global economy, but they can improve the way they manage energy in the here and now. Improved energy performance can provide rapid benefits for an organization by maximizing the use of its energy resources and energy-related assets, thus reducing energy costs and consumption. Adoption of the standard will also contribute to an organization’s sustainability objectives, including, but not limited to, reducing its carbon footprint.

As mentioned above, ISO 50001 is based on the management system model that is understood and implemented by organizations worldwide. A company that is already certified for ISO 9001 or ISO 14001, already has the framework for the EnMS, including document control, operational controls, training programs, corrective actions, and periodic audits, to name a few.  Likewise, companies that already have some form of energy management program in place, are likely already practicing some parts of the ISO 50001 EnMS, such as, energy team and policy, energy review, energy procurement, etc.

EnMS Goals

The standard is intended to accomplish the following:
• Assist organizations in making better use of their existing energy consuming assets
• Create transparency and facilitate communication on the management of energy resources
• Promote energy management best practices and reinforce good energy management behaviors
• Assist facilities in evaluating and prioritizing the implementation of new energy efficient technologies
• Provide a framework for promoting energy efficiency throughout the supply chain
• Facilitate energy management improvements for greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects
• Allow integration with other organizational management systems such as quality, environmental, and health and safety.

The standard specifies the requirements of an EnMS for a company to develop and implement an energy policy, establish objectives, targets, and action plans, which take into account legal requirements and information related to significant energy use. An EnMS enables a company to achieve its policy commitments, take action as needed to improve its energy performance and demonstrate the conformity of the system to the international standard.

The Plan-Do-Check-Act Framework

The standard is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act continuous improvement framework:
Plan: conduct the energy review and establish the baseline, energy performance indicators (EnPIs), objectives, targets and action plans necessary to deliver results in accordance with opportunities to improve energy performance that is supportive of the company’s energy policy.
Do: Implement the energy management action plans.
Check: monitor and measure processes and the key characteristics of its operations that determine energy performance against the energy policy and objectives and report the results.
Act: take actions to continually improve energy performance.