Does our company/plant have to certify to ISO 50001 in order to benefit from it?

No. Even if an organization is not ready to attempt ISO 50001 certification, taking steps to manage energy and reduce energy costs is still highly beneficial. In addition to acquiring a copy of ISO 50001 and implementing its provisions, a variety of tools are available to organizations to improve energy management. One widely used tool is the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR™ Energy Management Guidelines, which have been in place for more than a decade and applied by more than 500 Energy Star partner companies. More recently, the U.S. DOE developed the eGuide for ISO 50001 to help organizations in a step-by-step application of ISO 50001. The U.S. DOE also developed the eGuide lite to introduce companies to fundamental energy management concepts. Finally, the DOE offers software tools to analyze energy using systems, and the American Society for Mechanical Engineering (ASME) offers system assessment standards to help organizations understand the components and process of high quality energy audits.

In addition to saving energy, implementing the provisions of ISO 50001 will prepare an organization to pursue certification in the future. If the energy savings are significant and well documented, an organization may be able to achieve ISO 50001 and SEP certification more easily using the certification pathway for plants with a high degree of energy efficiency maturity. The SEP Mature Pathway is designed for facilities with longstanding energy efficiency programs. These facilities must achieve a 15 percent improvement in energy performance over the preceding 5 to 10 years and use the SEP Industrial Facility Best Practice Scorecard to gain credit for energy management system activities, processes, or procedures that are “above and beyond” ISO 50001 requirements. Facilities using the Mature Pathway must also obtain third-party audit and verification from an ANSI-ANAB Accredited SEP Verification Body. The SEP Measurement and Verification Protocol for Industry is also used to assess and calculate the improvements in energy performance.