The Benefits of ISO50001 Certified Building Energy Management Systems

A Building Energy Management System (BeMS) is a management system for the monitoring and control of energy usage within a building in order to improve energy efficiency. A BeMS works on the principle of a single-control loop and ‘what you don’t monitor, you cannot control’. ISO5001:2011 is an ISO certification standard for Energy Management Systems.

Energy Management Systems

Energy management is rising-up the corporate agenda for many organisations for several reasons including the rising costs of energy and the need to contribute to a low carbon economy.

There are several well-known management systems used within many organisations including: quality (ISO9001), environmental (ISO14001) and health & safety (ISO18001). ISO50001 operates to a very similar approach requiring a systematic implementation.

ISO50001 certified energy management systems (EnMS) take a comprehensive and holistic approach to energy monitoring and control within a building. An EnMS system built to comply with ISO50001 will offer super benefits than ad-hoc or individual project-based approaches to improving energy usage.

Implementing an energy management system will encompass best practice in a range of different but related disciplines including energy monitoring and energy metering practices, energy awareness training and how corrective and preventative actions are implemented because of analysing recorded results.

Most organisations will look to implement an EnMS using a team of both internal staff and an external energy efficiency/energy management consultant. The benefits of this teamwork like approach comes from combining the experience that comes from implementing systems across many other business and the sharing of knowledge and training with company staff and especially those who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the energy management system.

The process starts a review of current energy management practices and costs. From this a benchmark level can be established and used as a basis for the establishment of an Energy Policy and the setting of corporate aims and objectives related to energy. The aims and objectives may cover financially orientated measures including energy costs as well as wider ones affecting the environment including lower environmental impact and carbon footprints.

Once the Energy Policy has been defined the next steps involve the design and implementation of a complete energy usage monitoring and control system. This can include the installation of new energy meters and monitors to capture data for analysis. The data may be analysed individually or collated and reviewed within energy management dashboard. The principles are the same in either case as the system revolves around defining acceptable levels, measurement, analysis and identification of points for investigation.

ISO50001 Certification

It is up to a business or organisation whether it applies for its EnMS to be certified to ISO50001, but the recommendation is always there to do so. Especially if the organisation already has certifications for quality, environmental and health & safety. Management system certifications like these demonstrate to clients and prospects that the organisation is investing its time and resources to improve its overall operations and impacts. There is a positive public relations message from this and many benefits for the organisation.

The first benefit from operating an ISO50001 certified EnMS is the improvement of energy efficiency, resulting in an improving working environment and lower operational costs including energy usage related costs. In addition, the cycle of ‘Plan-Check-Do’ helps to reinforce a culture of continuous improvement and in this case continuous energy efficiency improvement.

A well designed and implemented Energy Management System will not find the ISO50001 certification a great hurdle and the benefits of this can include:

  • Providing more accurate data from which to make better energy related decisions
  • The tracking and monitoring of energy efficiency related improvements
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of the Energy Policy and related organisational goals
  • Continuous improvement within the organisation and a more positive culture
  • Preparing plans in relation to energy usage and its management
  • Greater collaboration across all levels within an organisation
  • Greater awareness about energy usage and power sources within the organisation
  • Greater awareness about how to raise operational efficiency
  • Improved monitoring and tracking of energy prices, demand and supply

Other benefits that can accrue within an organisation include greater productivity and lower maintenance requirements. A more open and service orientated culture can also develop with significant contributions from across all levels within the organisation.

ISO50001 is also a selling point and differentiator for an organisation in terms of wanting to lower energy usage and have less of carbon and environmental impact. Committing to ISO50001 and running a well designed and managed energy management system will become more important within the UK market place as both a differentiator from the competition but also to governmental bodies and utility operates faced with the growing need to stabilise the UK’s electrical infrastructure and meet rising demands. On the world stage, the standard will be as important across other developed nations and especially those committed to a lower carbon economy.

Please let us know if you would like a review with one of our Building Energy Consultants.