ISO develops an international standard for energy management

Friday, 18 April, 2008

In a world first, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has approved the creation of a project committee mandated to develop an international standard on energy management.

“The urgency to reduce GHG emissions, the reality of higher prices from reduced availability of fossil fuels, and the need to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, provides a strong rationale for developing this new standard, building on the most advanced best practices and existing national or regional standards,” explains ISO secretary-general Alan Bryden.

ISO says that the standard will provide all types of organisations and companies with a practical and widely recognised approach to increase energy efficiency, reduce costs and improve their environmental performance by addressing both the technical and management aspects of rational energy use.

The standard is intended to be broadly applicable to various sectors of national economies including utility, manufacturing, commercial building, general commerce and transportation sectors and therefore according to ISO, could have influence on as much as 60% of the world’s energy demand.

According to ISO, the project committee ISO/PC 242 Energy Management will consider the development of a standard containing relevant terms and definitions and providing management system requirements together with guidance for use, implementation, measurement and metrics.

The standard will be based on the continual improvement and Plan-Do-Check-Act approach utilised in ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 to provide compatibility and integration opportunities.

Among the main benefits of the future standard are the following:

  • provide organisations and companies (utilities, manufacturers, commerce, buildings, transportation, both private and public) with a well recognised framework for integrating energy efficiency into their management practices
  • offer organisations with operations in more than one country a single, harmonised standard for implementation across the organisation
  • provide a logical and consistent methodology for identifying and implementing improvements that may contribute to a continual increase in energy efficiency across facilities
  • assist organisations to better utilise existing energy-consuming assets, thus reducing costs and/or expanding capacity
  • offer guidance on benchmarking, measuring, documenting, and reporting energy intensity improvements and their projected impact on reductions in GHG emissions
  • create transparency and facilitate communication on the management of energy, promote energy management best practices, thus reinforcing the value of good energy management behaviours
  • assist facilities in evaluating and prioritising the implementation of new energy-efficient technologies
  • provide a framework for organisations to encourage suppliers to better manage their energy, thus promoting energy efficiency throughout the supply chain
  • facilitate the use of energy management as a component of GHG emission reduction projects

At this stage the secretariat for ISO/PC 242 will be held jointly by the United States and Brazil. There has been no mention to date of Australia’s role in the newly formed project committee.


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