Implementing and maintaining an energy management system according to the ISO 50001 international standard enables companies to improve their energy balance, reduce carbon emissions and lower their costs by using energy more efficiently. The ISO standard was revised in 2018.

Audits according to old standard possible until August 2020

Of course, many companies currently have other topics on their agenda than the transition to ISO 50001:2018. This is why the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has extended the transition period to 20th February 2022. This means, that it is possible to conduct audits based on the old standard (ISO 50001:2011) until the 20th August 2020. The original deadline was 20th February 2020. Whether this extension of the deadline will really help companies, is questionable. Most of the audits were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and can only be completed after 20th August anyway.

One sticking point: the KPIs

What changes will the transition to the new standard bring for the companies? In this blog post, I would like to report my personal experiences that I have gained during audits and those that I have exchangedwith my colleagues. One of my favourite topics in connection with the revision is the energy performance improvement. ISO 50001 requires that measurable results of energy efficiency or energy consumption in relation to energy use must be available in comparison to the energy baseline. Continuous improvement must be demonstrated by means of suitable energy performance indicators (EnPI) – and this is often the difficulty.

Not every KPI is an EnPI. The “Energy efficiency and energy management” Working Committee NA 172-00-09 AA has published Explanations on some issues of the new standard (in German) and dealt with the topic of EnPIs and energy performance improvement amongst other things. The identification of SEUs (significant energy uses), decrease in energy performance non-achievement of energy targets and the review of energy performance improvements, including the installation of cogeneration plants, are also examined in more detail. For companies that still have the audit ahead of them, this is certainly helpful reading. Accordingly, KPIs are only considered EnPIs if they are not distorted by significant influencing variables and are suitable for showing the actual energy performance. Furthermore, the text also clearly confirms that at least one EnPI is required for each SEU.

Regression analysis under discussion

The ISO 50006 guideline provides further possible approaches for the definition and quantification of relevant variables. The easiest way to determine the relevance of the relationship between energy consumption and a variable – for example temperature or production quantity – is to create a corresponding X-Y diagram including a trendline. In practice, this is unfortunately not always so easy to implement, as several variables may have an influence on energy consumption. The standard also mentions statistical models to show the relationship between energy consumption and relevant variables using linear or non-linear regressions.

Regression analysis is currently a hot topic, although there is often a lot of uncertainty and, logically, fear involved. Certainly the topic is not an easy one, but neither was the – implementation of ISO 50001 or its revision.

Energiedaten analysieren

Gain insight step by step – and leverage savings potential

With this blog post, I would like to encourage you to embrace the topic and not to be put off. Rome was certainly not built in a day, and in the course of the analysis you will notice that some energy data or measurements are “missing”. This is quite normal and must be dealt with accordingly.

My experience has shown – and also I am still learning – that there often is more available data on the production side than can actually be processed in a first step. Issues such as interfaces or data quality will inevitably crop up as well – not to mention the Damoclean threat of resources.

Some companies have already dealt with this topic very intensively, which enabled them to gain further insight and leverage savings potential. After all, this is the actual purpose of ISO 50001. The low hanging fruits have largely been harvested by now, and in order to identify further potential, companies must delve deeper into the process. Certainly this will lead to internal queries in some cases, but from my point of view, the goal of all managers and colleagues should be to establish reliable energy performance indicators. This helps them to discuss more than just deviations from energy consumption in every energy team meeting and prevents everyone from having stomach aches before the next audit.

My conclusion:

I can’t promise you anything, but I firmly believe that the more detailed the data collection and the more exact the normalization is, the smaller the deviations are to be explained –, the faster the level of frustration will decrease – and the faster you will achieve success.


Innocenzo Caria

Innocenzo Caria

Project Manager Energy Management

Innocenzo Caria is Project Manager Energy Management and Deputy Product Manager and Auditor for ISO 50001 at TÜV Rheinland Cert. His life is all about energy: while he audits all aspects of energy management at TÜV Rheinland, his private energy saving concept at home is sometimes shaken by the recent recruitment of new staff. But as a member of the voluntary fire brigade he is used to dangerous situations and usually stays quite cool. When there is time left besides family and job, he goes squashing. Even if others might not yet call this squash…

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