ISO 50001 is the internationally recognised standard for energy management. The purpose of the energy management standard is to provide organisations with a framework approach to improving energy performance. The standard pulls together best practices that can transform the way an organisation manages energy, as they are required to integrate its energy management into everyday business practice. As a result of improving energy performance, there should be definite positive environmental outcomes, because energy related greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. Potential fiscal savings could also be made in the longer term, which will make the organisation more competitive.
When adopting ISO 50001, all activities that require energy are applicable to the scope of the system, and all energy types should be addressed, irrespective of the quantity, use, or types of energy consumed. This would include electricity, gas, fuel-oils and renewable energy.
By adopting ISO 50001, the organisation is committing to demonstrate a continual improvement in energy performance, but it does not specify criteria or levels that it should achieve. Instead, the organisation is required to define its own energy use levels using data generated through activities such as the energy review, and setting appropriate energy performance objectives.
Energy objectives should be set by the organisation and should be aligned to its own policy, as well as any applicable requirements (e.g. local regulatory requirements).
Energy objectives should be measurable and should take into account the areas of ‘Significant Energy Use’ (SEU) of the organisation. This ensures that appropriate priority is given to the areas of highest energy use. Energy objectives could also be set on the basis that opportunities exist to improve energy use; in other words, if an opportunity arises to easily achieve improvement, it should be taken.
Once set, energy objectives should be communicated to all interested parties that can influence the performance and ongoing monitoring should take place. This monitoring will provide useful data that can be evaluated and used in later management decisions.
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