Energy management today is an area of growing interest and concern to companies around the world due to its potential to help control costs, boost energy efficiency, improve environmental quality and enhance a company’s overall competitiveness.

Using energy smarter and better can improve a company’s overall bottom line.

This is why many companies have chosen to opt for an energy management system. 

The objective is to improve the energy performance of their buildings while limiting their energy expenditure. 

This is where ISO 50001 standard can be handy. 

Published in 2011 by the International Organization for Standardization, the international body that develops and publishes all standardization regulations globally, ISO 50001 guides companies in the deployment of their energy management system.

Objectives and interests of the ISO 50001 standard

The ISO 50001 standard provides a precise framework for companies when setting up an energy management system. Developed in 2011, it complements the 9001 and 14001 standards which relate respectively to quality management and environmental management.

Its objectives are plural. Fully dedicated to improving the energy performance of the buildings concerned, the ISO 50001 standard proposes a method adapted to each proactive structure that wishes to set up an energy management system. It, therefore, makes it possible to meet several types of objectives according to the intrinsic characteristics of each structure:

  • Optimizing the consumption of energy-intensive installations
  • Support and reinforce good practice in energy saving
  • Orient strategic choices towards technological installations with high energy performance
  • Give meaning to energy management policies (fight against global warming, cost reduction, etc.)
  • Integrate energy efficiency criteria throughout the production and/or operation process
  • Integrate energy management into a global normative policy (quality management, safety, environment, QSE, etc.)

ISO 50001 application methodology

The prerequisite for ISO 50001 is to carry out a complete energy audit. Following which it is necessary to define an energy policy and then select the appropriate targets for an optimal application of this policy.

The control stage involves the collection of relevant data and then the concrete analysis of the results obtained. Once this process is established, the players can then optimize the energy management policy with a view to making it more efficient.

ISO 50001 certification is obtained on a voluntary basis by requesting the French Association for Standardization (AFNOR). A self-declaration of conformity which proves the actions taken in terms of energy performance is requested. Certified organizations can then have official recognition for their energy management efforts.

Today there are solutions that easily fit within the normative framework of ISO 50001. This allows an energy audit to be carried out quickly and at a lower cost. This data is then transcribed into an application from which alerts are sent in the event of deviations. In addition, energy efficiency engineers recommend improvement actions aimed at reducing the energy consumption of different types of structures.

According to ISO statistics, the voluntary ISO 50001 standard could affect up to 60% of world energy consumption diversified in different sectors and economic contexts. Currently, industrial users are able to reduce their energy costs by up to 10% within the first 18 months of ISO 50001 certification.