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Use the ISO 50001 standard to drive sustainable energy use in your organisation and meet compliance requirements.

ISO 50001

ISO 50001 is the leading international standard for energy management. The Standard is an alternative to demonstrating compliance to legal requirements and can displace the need for ESOS audits. The Standard takes an organisation to a new level of energy management, which it may already have in the context of the ISO 14001 standard.

Onsite Consultancy

Our onsite ISO Consultancy services provide you with the tailored support you need to achieve your goals for ISO Certification. Benefit from our insights to build an energy management system that delivers the outcomes you need. We bring clarity to ISO 50001 so that you develop your existing good practices into a highly effective energy management system.

What is the ISO 50001 energy management standard?

ISO 50001 is the internationally recognised standard for energy management. The purpose of the energy management system is to enable organisations to:

‘support a culture of energy performance improvement that depends upon commitment from all levels of the organization, especially top management’ – ISO 50001.

ISO 50001 is written as a generic standard and provides a management framework for an organisation to manage and improve energy performance. The standard sets out requirements for a systematic approach to continually improving energy performance, which is driven by fact – good data and facts are essential in that regard.

Managing Energy

ISO 50001 focuses the attention of the organisation on energy use in the following ways:

At the planning stages, an organisation should set out to understand where it uses energy. Whether this is sourced from electricity, mains gas, bottled gases, compressed air, or other fuels and whether the sources are renewable, or carbon based.

In documenting and quantifying the energy use, the organisation is then well placed to understand its areas of significant energy use. Targets and objectives can then be focused on these areas to ensure that improvement occurs.

Whilst many organisations will carry out these activities as a matter of course, the level of governance provided by an ISO 50001 energy management system will lead to systemic and organised improvement on energy performance over time.

Interaction with other systems (e.g. environmental management)

‘Energy management’ is carried out to enhance an organisation’s energy performance. Within ISO 14001, an organisation is required to understand its significant environmental aspects and set out to manage them. To an extent, ISO 50001 repeats these requirements, but focuses on energy.

The requirements to meet energy management within the scope of ISO 50001 are more exacting and detailed than in ISO 14001, so organisations using the two Standards will benefit from the focused and more detailed approach.


Energy management, as all the ISO management systems, has adopted the PDCA cycle as the basis of continual improvement. Organisations don’t have to be perfect in order to have an effective energy management system, but the expectation of the ISO standard is that you can demonstrate the journey your organisation is taking. Over time, your capabilities and effectiveness will improve if you critique your energy performance in order to improve.

In following the plan-do-check-act process, the management team will begin to improve their planning processes and develop their skills of critical assessment in regard of energy management. Part of this improvement will be to crystallise energy management objectives at a strategic and an operational level.

The Plan-Do-Check-Act process is a critical element of the management system, and each time the cycle is followed through, the capabilities of the team will get better. Tangible improvement arising will include:

Applying these skills to your organisation will enhance your energy management performance and improve your brand reputation and skills.

Benefits of ISO 50001 Energy management

ISO 50001, as with other ISO standards has resulted in improved performance with users.

According to the major Certification Body BSi, their clients report many different benefits of implementing a certified energy management system including

By improving energy efficiency, the organisation also opens more opportunity to introduce energy sourced from renewables, which might be more expensive but would improve the additional consideration of carbon reduction. Furthermore, an organisation reduces its reliance on energy sources which might be unreliable in the future, or be subject to large price fluctuations.

  • Improved levels of compliance to energy legislation
  • Reduced likelihood of fines and prosecutions, and lower insurance premiums
  • Allows adequate time to address issues ahead of legislation changes
  • Money is saved through better energy management
  • Less waste and more efficiency
  • Improved procurement procedures
  • Reduced impact of rising costs
  • Increased likelihood of repeat business
  • Access to new markets by positively presenting your organisation for tenders and investment opportunities
  • Improved reputation and stakeholder satisfaction
  • Increased access to new customers and business partners
  • A competitive advantage to grow your business
Risk management
  • Improved business and energy planning
  • Potential re-investment of savings into other areas of the business

How do I get ISO 50001?

Many companies ask what they need to do to ‘get’ ISO 50001. The answer is to apply the requirements of the ISO 50001 Standard to their management systems. In many cases, a successful business will meet the requirements because they are successful.

Getting ISO 50001 is then a process of being certified. UKAS accredited Certification Bodies are the organisations that will carry out a series of audits of the energy management system against the ISO Standard. As a result of the audit (if the energy system meets the Standard) the Organisation is then awarded an ISO 50001 Certificate.

How long does it take to get an ISO 50001 certificate?

If you are beginning your journey to certification, it is easiest to consider three phases:

  1. Developing the Energy management Systems
  2. Meeting the first phase of the ISO 50001 Audit Process
  3. Meeting the second phase of the ISO 50001 Audit Process

The process of developing an energy management system that meets the ISO 50001 standard can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months depending on the level of maturity of the organisation. In some cases, it is simply a case of introducing some new governance processes or developing documentation, whereas in others, an organisation will need to start from scratch.

The first phase of the ISO 50001 audit process is a ‘Stage 1’ Audit, which will look at the readiness of the system, and check against the required documentation. The benefit of the Stage 1 audit is that the organisation can test out its ideas or identify gaps without risking failing. The audit will result in a report that defines the amount of work needed to be complete before the Stage 2 audit is completed.

Usually, there is a gap between the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits of 4 weeks to 6 months, which allows the organisation to gather more data and increase its capabilities.

What does ISO 50001 cost?

Like any product or service that an organisation buys, it is important to shop around Certification Bodies and ensure that you get a level of service you want, at a price that is acceptable. Just because a Certification Body awards a Quality certificate doesn’t make them infallible.

The UKAS accredited Certification Bodies are subjected to quality standards themselves and UKAS acts as Ombudsmen, which gives you assurance that any issues will be resolved appropriately.

Typically, direct audit costs are charged on a day-rate basis and the number of days will vary according to the size of the business. Companies up to 50 people can expect initial certification costs of approximately £5k, and ongoing costs of up to 2-3k per annum.

Spedan Ltd are Associate Consultants to the major ISO Certification Bodies and can help clarify your costs before you commit to one supplier.

What others say:

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