ISO 50001 - Energy management -

Energy management is a concept that includes the planning and operation of energy production as well as energy consumption.
There are three main objectives of energy management: conservation of limited natural resources; mitigation of climate change and reducing energy costs.

ISO 50001 is an international standard that sets the requirements for an Energy management system (EnMS).
This standard has been developed with the purpose of supporting organizations, from all sectors, to use energy more efficiently.
ISO 50001 can be used by large and small companies, regardless of their activities, location, structure and energy sources. 

The first edition of ISO 50001 was published in 2011 and the current version of this standard is the one from 2018 (ISO 50001:2018).
Below there is a brief presentation of the requirements in ISO 50001:2018, so that you can have an image of what an Energy management system is about.

RIGCERT offers accredited ISO 50001 certification services to help your organization demonstrate the commitment to improve its energy performance.

If you are interested to know more about the requirements of this standard and about the implementation of an Energy management system, you can try our online course below.

ISO 50001 defines the requirements for an Energy Management System (EnMS) that can be implemented by any organization regardless of size, activity, business sector, location or products and services it provides. Below we explain briefly the requirements of ISO 50001:2018 with the important mention that the requirements of the standard have to be understood and implemented taking into consideration the specifics of each organization, its activities and energy uses.

The organization shall determine external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and that affect its ability to achieve the intended outcomes of the Energy Management System (EnMS). The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the organization has a good understanding of the factors that can affect positively or negatively its EnMS. Each organization is unique so the identification of external and internal issues must consider its specific. Still, here are some examples of external issues that apply in the case of many organizations: natural conditions, legislation, energy supply aspects including the security of energy supply, restrictions on energy consumption, technology available on the market, competition, etc. For internal issues the examples can include: the structure of the organization, age and condition of the company’s equipment, the level of education of the company’s personnel, organizational culture and values.
Besides external and internal issues, the organization is required to identify relevant 
interested parties (or stakeholders) and their requirementsSome examples of interested parties are: customers, authorities, shareholders, employees, business partners, the local community, etc. The organization must gain a good understanding of who the interested parties are and what are their requirements.Some of the requirements of interested parties are mandatory (laws, regulations, etc.), while others are not (e.g. voluntary agreements, public commitments of the organization, etc.).
The organization shall determine 
the scope of its EnMS. Meaning what activities and locations are included in the EnMS.
The scope shall cover only activities and locations where the organization has the authority to control its energy efficiency, energy use and consumption. All energy types inside the scope shall be addressed by the EnMS. It is not allowed to exclude any energy type within the scope. The scope of the EnMS shall be maintained as documented information.

The top management of the organization is required to demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the EnMS and the continual improvement of the energy performance.
An energy policy shall be documented and communicated within the organization. The energy policy shall provide a framework for setting energy objectives and targets, shall be appropriate to the purpose of the organization and shall support both the procurement of energy efficient products and services and the design activities that consider energy performance improvement. The energy policy shall be available to interested parties, as appropriate; meaning the organization can make its policy freely available to anyone (e.g. by posting it on its website) or it can decide to make the policy available only upon request.
The top management is responsible to ensure that responsibilities and authorities for the organization’s personnel are assigned and communicated.

An energy management team shall be appointed.

The organization shall establish a process for the identification of risks and opportunities relevant for its energy management system. ISO 50001 does not require to document the risks and opportunities identified, but the organization shall plan actions to address them.
Objectives and energy targets shall be established at relevant functions and levels and the organization shall retain documented information on objectives and targets as well as on the action plans for their achievement.
ISO 50001:2018 requires to conduct an 
energy review. This process involves a number of steps: an analysis of the organization’s energy use and consumption; an identification of Significant Energy Uses (SEUs), as well as the identification of relevant variables that can affect the SEUs identified; determination and prioritization of improvement opportunities and an estimation of future energy use and consumption.
The identification of Significant Energy Uses (SEUs) is an important element of the EnMS because it helps prioritize the actions and the allocation of resources. The organization has the freedom to decide the criteria for determining its SEUs. Any use with substantial energy consumption should receive consideration as an SEU, but the organization can also consider as significant an energy use that, although is not one of the largest consumers, offers substantial potential for improvement (e.g. lighting or HVAC of the offices in a manufacturing facility).

Energy performance indicators (EnPIs) shall be determined and used to measure and monitor energy performance. The EnPIs should enable the organization to demonstrate improvement in its energy performance.
To be able to evaluate changes in its energy performance the organization shall establish one or several 
Energy baselines (EnBs). The energy baseline can be used to calculate energy performance improvement after the implementation of improvement actions. The energy baseline is in fact the values of EnPIs for a period called the baseline period. By comparing the actual values of EnPIs with their values from the baseline period, the organization can assess its energy performance improvement. Most certainly there are variables affecting the energy consumption between different periods so the data may require normalization.
ISO 50001 requires an 
energy data collection plan to be documented. The plan should include what data is collected, at what frequency, any variables and/ or static factors affecting the SEUs.

Resources needed for the establishment, implementation, maintenance and continual improvement of the EnMS must be determined and made available by the organization.
The standard asks to determine the necessary competence for persons doing work under the control of the organization that can affect its energy performance. Whenever needed, the organization is required to fill the gap between existing and required competence (e.g. through training, recruitment, mentoring or other methods).
Persons doing work under the control of the organization shall be 
aware of: the company’s energy policy, their contribution to the achievement of energy objectives and the benefits of improved energy performance, the impact of their activities and behaviors on energy performance and the implications of not conforming to requirements.
Effective communication processes, including internal and external communications, shall be in place. The organization is required to implement a process by which any person doing work under its control can make comments or suggestions for improving the EnMS or the energy performance. The organization is free to consider or not such suggestions.
The EnMS shall be supported by a 
documentation that includes those documents specifically required by ISO 50001:2018, as well as documents that, although are not required by the standard, are determined by the organization as necessary for its EnMS. The EnMS documents shall be controlled in terms of their distribution, access, preservation, retrieval, use, control of changes, retention and distribution.
The size of the EnMS documentation can vary from one organization to the other due to factors like the complexity of activities and the competence of personnel.

The organization shall plan, implement and control the processes related to its significant energy uses. The purpose is to ensure that equipment and systems are operated and maintained properly. Operational controls include: documented procedures, technical devices (like automated switches, flow control valves or speed limiters), adequate maintenance of use of licensed personnel. change management process should be in place to control planned changes and review the consequences of unintended changes so that adverse effects are avoided or mitigated. Outsourced SEUs and processes related to SEUs shall be controlled.
Whenever designing new facilities, equipment, systems or energy-using processes the organization shall consider energy performance improvement opportunities.
procuring products or services that can have a significant impact on its energy performance the organization shall use energy related criteria in the evaluation of offers and shall inform its suppliers on the matter. Generally the company should consider energy efficient services, products or equipment as the first choice in its procurement, as long as this is in line with its business strategy.

ISO 50001:2018 asks the organization to have processes for measuring, monitoring, analyzing and evaluating its energy performance and the EnMS. The requirement is to decide what needs to be measured and monitored (e.g. EnPIs, operation of SEUs, actual versus expected energy consumption), to establish the methods, to define criteria and specify when measuring and monitoring will be performed. If equipment is required for monitoring and measuring, then it needs to be calibrated/ verified according to specifications. Significant deviations (either positive or negative) in energy performance shall be identified, investigated and addressed.
The organization shall evaluate its compliance with relevant energy related legislation and other requirements applicable, and retain documented information as evidence of this process.
Internal audits of the EnMS shall take place at planned intervals and documented information shall be retained as evidence of this process.
The top management is required to review periodically the EnMS to ensure that it continues to be suitable, adequate and effective.

 shall be addressed by implementing corrections and corrective actions and the organization shall continually improve its EnMS and its energy performance.

Very briefly those are the requirements of ISO 50001:2018.
It’s important to consider that the application of this standard and the implementation of an Energy management system shall be tailored to the specifics of each organization.


asked questions

It is a set of elements (policies, processes and procedures) used by an organization to fulfil its objectives and perform its tasks. A management system can address a single discipline (e.g. quality management system or information security management system) or several disciplines at the same time, in what is referred to as an integrated management system. It is the choice of the organization what type of management system it chooses to implement and certify.

For every discipline there are specific standards that define the requirements for a management system (e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or ISO/IEC 27001). An organization wishing to obtain the certification of its management system has to demonstrate during an initial certification audit that it fulfils the requirements of the specific standards used as reference for certification.

Regardless of the discipline all management systems generally require organizations to define roles, responsibilities and authorities for personnel, document policies, establish objectives and actions to achieve them, demonstrate operation in controlled conditions, monitor, measure, analyze and evaluate performance and act to continually improve the system.

A management system can be implemented by the organization using internal resources or with the help of external consultants . The management system needs to be maintained and continually improved.

To be useful, a management system should become an integral part of the organization’s activities and not a set of requirements separated from operational routine.

The support from top management is vital for the success of a management system in the organization.

Certification is an attestation from a third party (usually called registrar or certification body) that the management system implemented by an organization fulfills the requirements of applicable standard(s).

So, in fact, not the organization is the subject of certification but its management system.

The certification process begins with the application sent by the organization looking to obtain certification. It has to be a written application and its useful to the certification body for understanding what is required and to plan the resources needed to provide the certification services.

A contract for the certification is signed.

The certification audit is done to evaluate how the requirements of the standard(s)/ reference documents are implemented. The audit team is made of one or several members and the audit duration depends on a series of factors like the standards for certification involved, the size of the organization, its activities. locations, etc.

In case the conclusions of the audit are positive and there are no other elements that may affect the certification, the certification body issues the conformity certificate(s).

The document General rules for the certification of management systems contains detailed information about how the certification process works, what are the requirements for obtaining and maintaining certifications.

Management system certifications are valid for 3 years, with the condition that successful yearly surveillance audits are performed (in the first and second year after certification). Surveillance audits are meant to evaluate if the management system certified continues to respect applicable requirements.

The certification program is the document that specifies the planning of surveillance audits and it is communicated to the organization at certification date.

In the third year the recertification audit takes place and the organization enters another 3-year certification cycle in similar conditions as the previous.

In case surveillance audits are not performed as scheduled the certification may be suspended. During suspension the certification is temporarily invalid. If during suspension the situation is not corrected the certification is withdrawn.

Appeals refer to decisions of RIGCERT with regards to a certain certification (e.g. not granting, suspending, withdrawal, etc) while complaints may refer to a series of aspects like: the personnel working on behalf of RIGCERT, activities of the organizations certified by RIGCERT, activities of third parties connected to RIGCERT, etc.

Appeals and complaints should be sent at and are treated confidentially.

RIGCERT personnel involved in the review and decision regarding a certain appeal or complaint have not been involved in the case being reviewed.

The review can include actions like performing special audits, request of information from the parties involved and is concluded with a formal decision communicated to the appellant and/ or complainant.

Detailed information on the appeals and complaints handling process are available in the document General rules for the certification of management systems.

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