Energy Management Systems

Energy Management Systems (EnMSs) became prominent in 2011 with the publication of international standard ISO 50001, Energy management systems, Requirements with guidance for use. As with the ISO environmental management system standard 14001, the 50001 specifies sub-system elements that can be incorporated into an organization’s enterprise management system. The 50001 specifications allow the organization to add structure, predictability and reliability to its efforts to maintain compliance, to minimize risks, to optimize energy consumption, and to achieve other goals related to measuring energy usage, and for securing energy from renewable sources. The 50001 standard is being implemented in most countries around the world, with some 10,000 certified systems and at least as many non-certified users, as of 2014. The responsible Technical Committee of ISO has also published ISO 50002 and 50004 on energy auditing and 50004, Guidance to 50001.

The compelling driver for an EnMS international standard came from the nexus between the consumption of energy from fossil fuels, the generation of greenhouse gases, and their impact on climate change. Pre-existing national standards including the U.S. IEEE Recommended practice for energy management in industrial and commercial facilities (1995), and the Chinese, Dutch and Irish standards of 1995, 2004 and 2005 respectively, provided substance and motivation to create an international standard for deliberate, organized and effective approaches for reducing energy consumption, maximizing reliance on renewables and taking other feasible steps to reduce the generation of greenhouse gases. The resulting ISO 50001 is applicable to an organization’s processes and individuals that use and consume energy, to its equipment and materials design and procurement, and to its needs for measuring, documenting and reporting energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) gave the 50001 its imprimatur when it partnered with the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing to develop the Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program officially launched in 2013. The SEP allows facilities to have their systems certified “by conforming to ISO 50001, improving energy performance, and undergoing an SEP audit from an ANSI-ANAB accredited SEP Verification Body.” The SEP offers silver, gold and platinum designations based on the level of energy performance improvement attained. In promoting non-regulatory strategies for managing the energy goals of organizations, EEMI will place a significant focus on consensus standards such as the ISO 50000 series which has played a major role in international adoption of energy management systems since 2011.

Focal area lead: Dr. Scott Sklar – Professorial Lecturer, Sustainable Energy, GW, President, The Stella Group, Ltd., Chairman, U.S. Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency