6 March 2019

Evolution of Energy Management Systems

As is quite well known amongst those working on energy transitions, ISO 50001 is the global standard for Energy Management Systems (EnMS). Though it has typically been applied to industrial and commercial contexts, it has also proven to be a valuable tool for public authorities to adopt for streamlining their own facilities, assets and processes. This is the reason that it forms the basis for Compete4SECAP’s own EnMS guidelines and the methodology which our project’s national partners use in working with their own local authorities.

However, it's worth noting that many standards go through a process of evolution, and ISO 50001 is no exception. In fact, just last year in 2018, ISO 50001 had an official update from its previous version (from 2011). While the changes inherent in this update must still be reflected in an update of our own project’s guidelines (still to come), local authorities should not fear that they are already out of date – Compete4SECAP’s national partners are already aware of these changes, and already working to comply with this newer version of the standard.

In the meantime, it may be useful for other local authorities, or any other organisation interested in implementing EnMS according to ISO 50001, to consider some of the key changes from 2011 to 2018. There are a number of alterations covering higher-level issues like personnel competence to external communication requirements to making monitoring less ambiguous, and even procurement. And of course, there are also certain changes to actual energy management envisioned in the 2018 update, such as clarifications about scope/boundaries, energy performance indicators, baselines and data.

For more details, readers are recommended to look through this longer, but quite helpful, article “Key changes in ISO 50001:2018 vs ISO 50001:2011”, published by the world's largest classification company, Norway-based DNV-GL.