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June News: DOE gears up for ISO 50001

The Dept. of Energy has high hopes for ISO 50001. Called the Energy Management System Standard, it published last June and establishes a framework for industrial organizations to manage their energy use. ISO figures the standard has the potential to influence up to 60% of the world’s energy use. The idea behind ISO 50001 is that tweaks in operation can bring 10 to 25% in energy savings.

In reality, realizing these sorts of results typically require a group of people to both change their behavior and buy into sustaining change. To be successful, companies need a formal energy policy with specific action plans, along with measurement, documentation, and regular internal audits. That’s where the DOE’s Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program can help.

“Energy management requires an organization to shift from a project-by-project approach to one of continual improvement in energy performance,” says Aimee McKane of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. To promote the right viewpoint, DoE is kicking off a certification program for continual improvement in energy efficiency.

SEP (for Superior Energy Performance) for Industry program will launch nationwide in October and includes two tiers. One allows self-declaration of compliance with ISO 50001, the other involves ANSI/ANAB certification. With the latter, an ANSI/ANAB-accredited verification body do a third-party audit. Among other things, they will check that the energy management system conforms to ISO 50001, and that the company has improved its energy performance by at least 5% over three years.

Means of certification include an Energy Performance Pathway and a Mature Energy Pathway to suit companies that are at different points in getting energy efficient. Within these two pathways are further requirement that lead to silver, gold, or platinum designations.

Training in the application of ISO 50001will begin in May, with the first class held in Atlanta. Certified Practitioners in Energy Management Systems (CP EnMS) will help facilities implement ISO 50001 and prepare for SEP certification. SEP Lead Auditors and SEP Performance Verifiers will perform third-party audits to verify that a facility meets SEP requirements.

“ISO 50001 ensures that a facility has adopted the operational structure, systems, and practices to identify, prioritize, implement, and measure the impacts of energy-saving projects on a continuing basis,” says McKane. “Superior Energy Performance provides added value through third-party validation of a facility’s use of the energy management system to actually achieve and sustain improved energy performance.”

Resources

ISO 50001, www.eere.energy.gov/energymanagement
Superior Energy Performance, www.superiorenergyperformance.net

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