ISO targets energy management systems by Sara Stroud - 7.6.09 GENEVA
A new standard for energy management systems is in the works that could affect up to 60 percent of global energy demand, according to its drafting organization.
The International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) new standard, ISO 50001, would provide a framework for industrial facilities seeking to manage their energy use, drawing on the success of established environmental and quality management standards.
Certification under the standard could help explain to customers and suppliers how a company is tracking—and ideally reducing—its energy use, something that could provide a competitive advantage, especially if and when a price is put on carbon emissions.
“I see it as a way to solidify a company’s sustainability strategy,” says John Wallner senior manager, industrial sector for the Portland-based Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. “It’s a important part of keeping everything transparent.”
The international standard is expected to provide guidance in how to measure, document and report energy use; define roles and responsibilities within an organization; build awareness within a company about energy use; and assist in goal-setting for energy reduction. It would also provide insight about where new energy-saving technologies could be most effectively implemented.
Currently, most energy management systems are utility programs, though there are some that are commercial and under contract to utilities. Wallner also cited the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star for Industry as a type of program to which ISO 50001 could apply.