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Certifyin​g Increased Energy Productivity under ISO 50001

Facilities certified to Superior Energy Performance® (SEP®) are leaders in energy management and productivity improvement. The facilities in SEP have met the ISO 50001 standard and have improved their energy performance up to 30% over three years.

To become certified, facilities must implement an energy management system that meets the ISO 50001 standard and demonstrate improved energy performance. An independent third party audits each facility to verify achievements and qualify it at the Silver, Gold, or Platinum level, based on energy performance improvement. This certification emphasizes measureable savings through a transparent process.

TWO VERSIONS OF THE SEP PROGRAM ARE AVAILABLE: Updated SEP program requirements and documents are now available. Organizations may use SEP 2012 or SEP 2017 for initial certification or recertification.

SEP-certified facilities note that investing the extra effort in SEP—beyond ISO 50001—is clearly worth it. Cost-benefit assessments find that SEP helps facilities in a wide range of industries and large energy users. Results to date:

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    Annual savings of $36,000 to $938,000 using no-cost or low-cost operational measures—Read the business case for SEP
  • 12% reduction in energy costs within 15 months of SEP implementation (on average)
  • 5.6% to 30.6% improvement in energy performance over three years
  • Paybacks of less than 1.5 years (in facilities with energy costs > $2 million annually).

An energy management system (EnMS) helps a facility establish the policies and procedures to systematically track, analyze, and improve energy efficiency. Learn more about energy management using ISO 50001 and download DOE’s ISO 50001 brochure about the benefits of the standard in companies across the U.S. The 50001 Ready Navigator is a free, publicly available online tool designed in support of DOE’s 50001 Ready and Superior Energy Performance (SEP) programs, to help teams establish and maintain a business culture of continual improvement based on the best practices of ISO 50001. Read about the certification process to learn how to prepare and qualify for ISO 50001 and SEP certification.

A growing number of companies are using an enterprise-wide approach to share a common ISO 50001 EnMS across multiple facilities and get results certified to SEP. This approach leverages resources and reduces per-site implementation costs. In addition, DOE is partnering with a group of leading water and wastewater treatment agencies to demonstrate the energy and efficiency benefits of implementing SEP.

The SEP program was designed to drive systematic energy performance improvement across the U.S. manufacturing and commercial buildings sectors—significantly reducing energy use and carbon emissions. It was developed with active participation by industry members of the U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing (U.S. CEEM) and is currently administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Audits are performed only by SEP Verification Bodies accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB). DOE provides recognition to facilities certified to SEP.