The global ISO 50001 energy management system standard was updated on August 21, 2018 to increase its clarity and applicability for businesses and organizations around the world, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is following suit. ISO 50001 is a voluntary global standard for energy management systems in industrial, commercial and institutional facilities. Given the value of ISO 50001 as a business-friendly, low-cost pathway to continuous improvements in energy performance, DOE is now updating its ISO 50001 tools and programs to reflect these recent revisions to the ISO 50001:2018 standard.

America’s industrial, commercial, and institutional organizations that implemented energy management systems using the original ISO 50001 standard have achieved validated energy performance improvements averaging 4.5% annually. More importantly, DOE analysis indicates that these savings persist over time given how a 50001 energy management system becomes an integral part of an organization’s business practice and culture.

“ISO 50001:2018 places a stronger emphasis on the role of top management because of its importance to instilling an organizational culture change,” stated Roland Risser, Chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard. “It is also now aligned with ISO’s requirements for management system standards, making it easier to integrate into an organization’s existing management systems.”

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy administers two major programs to support U.S. adoption of ISO 50001. DOE’s 50001 Ready program is a no-cost, self-guided program that provides DOE recognition to U.S. organizations that self-attest to meeting the ISO 50001 standard. DOE’s Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program provides tools, protocols, and recognition for organizations that certify to ISO 50001 and obtain third-party validation of their energy performance improvements. Participants in both DOE programs may use ISO 50001:2018 immediately, though the three-year transition period (ending August 20, 2021) gives organizations flexibility in scheduling their changeover.

The ISO 50001:2018 revisions are designed to increase compatibility with other ISO management system standards, such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, and ISO 45001:2018 as well as the following improvements:

  • Alignment with ISO’s “high-level structure” to readily integrate with other management system standards to better analyze risk, trends, competitiveness, and other strategic business issues.
  • Greater focus on the demonstration of continual, measurable improvements in energy performance.
  • Normalization of variables affecting energy performance (supported by the 50001 Ready Navigator tool (Task 9) and EnPI Lite Tool).
  • Clarified terms, definitions, and content organization.

Establishing an ISO 50001 energy management system to maximize, sustain, and improve savings over time requires commitment and a broad range of skills. Facilities interested in ISO 50001, or energy management best practices, are encouraged to seek professional training to build their workforce through the 50001 Certified Practitioners in Energy Management Systems (50001 CP EnMS). Classroom training and online training is available. In addition, the Institute of Energy Management Professionals (IEnMP) maintains an up-to-date list of certified 50001 CP EnMS professionals and 50001 EnMS Qualified Instructors to provide support in implementing or receiving training on ISO 50001.

The U.S. ANSI Technical Advisory Group (TAG) continues to spearhead the development and revisions of ISO 50001 through staffing key roles on the international Technical Committee 301 (ISO TC 301) for energy management. The ISO TC 301 members include the U.S. government; major industrial, commercial and technology companies; and other stakeholders. These members join the U.S. TAG to help shape the direction of, and to gain early insight on, proposed changes of ISO 50001 and related standards. DOE supports the TAG’s call for greater U.S. corporate participation and support and welcomes companies and individuals to join the U.S. TAG/TC 301.

For more information, members of the U.S. ANSI Technical Advisory Group (TAG) - the U.S. working group supporting the development of the ISO 50001 standard - produced a free recorded webinar that reviewed the key changes in ISO 50001:2018.

DOE’s Superior Energy Performance (SEP) and 50001 Ready program are administered by DOE to support U.S. manufacturing, commercial, and institutional facilities in their efforts to increase productivity and reduce energy use through the ISO 50001 standard. Learn more about SEP and 50001 Ready.