ISO 50001: Guidance Documents Are on the Way

November 1, 2012

ISO 50001 is the first International Organization for
Standardization (ISO) standard for managing energy performance improvement.
It provides a
standard methodology for a wide range of stakeholders industrial, commercial,
and institutional to establish systems and processes to manage energy and
improve energy performance transparently.

New Insights for
End Users

the release of ISO 50001 in June 2011, many organizations have purchased the
standard, and some have achieved conformance. However, in some cases,
conformance has taken longer due to the need for clarity and interpretation
guidance on some provisions in the standard. To facilitate more rapid and
widespread adoption, the ISO Technical Committee that developed the standard
(TC242) has begun developing the companion guidance documents for utilizing ISO
50001. These documents will provide technical background and application
details intended to help stakeholders understand the full intent of the

Four separate working groups have been formed to expound on
different core subject areas related to ISO 50001. The intent is that the
resulting guidance documents?ISO 50002, ISO 17588, ISO 17570, ISO 17580, ISO
50003, and ISO 50004?will enhance end users’ understanding of ISO 50001,
provide guidance on its implementation, and maximize its potential benefits.

  • ISO 50002 will provide guidance
    on energy auditing. This document is the most advanced and is likely to come
    out first. It addresses principles of an energy audit including
    confidentiality, transparency, and the audit process. This guide includes a
    series of annexes that address different types of audits for industry, buildings,
    transportation, and services.

  • ISO 17588, 17570, and 17580 (which are temporary numbers, as the
    official document numbers have not yet been assigned) address selecting,
    establishing, and maintaining energy performance indicators (EnPI); their corresponding
    baselines; and measurement and verification. This is likely to include the
    steps in selecting EnPIs, developing baselines, characteristics of significant
    energy uses, and appropriate reasons to change a baseline. According to one
    member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group, Joe Almaguer, “the guidance
    documents need to keep the end-user in mind to ensure its maximum effectiveness
    in helping organizations manage their energy performance and continually effect

  • ISO 50003 will provide guidance
    on the conformity assessment of the Energy Management System (EnMS), which is a
    crucial part of successful conformance with ISO 50001. The document will
    specify the elements in the auditing process and competence requirements of
    personnel involved in the audit. This includes the audit plan, audit team
    selection, audit time, and audit report.

  • ISO 50004 will provide guidance
    on implementation, maintenance, and improvement of the EnMS that is created
    when an organization decides to adopt ISO 50001. This document will encompass a
    wide variety of topics including determining the scope of an EnMS, management
    responsibility, identifying significant energy uses, prioritizing improvement
    opportunities, competence of personnel, communication, documentation,
    procurement, monitoring, conducting internal audits, non-conformity, corrective
    action, and management evaluation of the EnMS.

Understanding How To Implement ISO 50001

completed, the guidance documents will provide the necessary background and supporting
information to assist in applying ISO 50001. By addressing significant core
concepts within ISO 50001, the guidance documents will help industrial plant
personnel more effectively conform with the standard. They do not set new

The guidance documents are expected to be published late 2013
to early 2014 and should be available on the ISO website.


Reprinted with permission from the Industrial Team
at the Alliance to Save Energy.