The benefits of ISO50001

Friday 11th November 2016

ISO50001 is the international standard for energy management systems. It is modelled on similar frameworks to the ISO90001 and ISO14001 systems, and is becoming increasingly popular around the world, as a good practice basis for building an energy management programme.  Take up in the UK has been fairly limited, particularly compared to some other European countries.  In Germany, the Government offer rebates to organisations with ISO50001 certification, and in Ireland there is subsidised support available for getting an ISO50001 system in place.  In the UK, until the introduction of ISO50001 as a route to ESOS compliance, there were no governmental drivers in place at all.  However, there are a host of other benefits to having an ISO50001 system in place, not to mention preparation for the possibility of further Governmental incentive in the future.

The requirements for the ISO50001 standard are based on the Plan - Do - Check – Act model, very similar to those of the environmental management system equivalent, ISO140001.   Because of this, organisations with an existing ISO system in place can look at integrating an energy management system more easily, with the benefits of being able to share best practice, management systems, and auditors.  The pressures from stakeholders for companies to be certified to ISO9001 and ISO140001 are also growing in respect to ISO50001, and it can help to show progress with Carbon Disclosure Project reporting, and other similar programmes.

There are also material benefits to having a certified energy management system in place. It has been shown that moving to an ISO50001 system delivers an additional 5-7% energy savings on top of a general ‘good practice’ approach.  Having an energy management system in place also protects against fluctuations caused by changes in management, and cycles in support from top level.  The processes in place mean that energy management is consistently reviewed, and put before senior management.

Whilst historically the above benefits have not necessarily been enough to tempt organisations to invest in an ISO50001 certified system, the likelihood is that in the future ISO50001 will appear more as a recognised level of energy management within Government schemes. It is already believed that the level of organisations taking up the standard will increase dramatically in time for the deadline of the second phase of ISO50001.  If ISO50001 is included within the new energy reporting framework, which will be put in place to replace the reporting aspects of CRC, then ISO50001 could become the only energy management requirement that companies need to think about.

For more information on ISO50001 energy management systems, and how E2 can support you, please see the Energy Services section of the website.