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ÖNORM EN ISO 50001:2018

Energy management systems: The new standard ISO 50001:2018 is published!

ÖNORM EN ISO 50001:2018

The ISO 50001 was released as version 2018 on 08/20/2018.
It replaces the previous version ISO 50001: 2011

ISO 50001:2018, like other already published management system standards (e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or ISO 45001), adopts the so-called High Level Structure (HLS). This results in changes that already certified companies have to keep in mind in the future. In addition, the revised version also contains amendments relating to energy-specific topics, which in particular clarify the requirements of the standard. Here, one could benefit from the experience gained during the application of the 2011 version.

The revision was created because the regular monitoring of the standard (every five years after it was published) was in need for action. Furthermore, the standard had to be converted into the new High-Level-Structure (HLS). (

The most important changes of ISO 50001:2018 – a short overview

ISO 50001:2011 Revision ISO 50001:2018
1 Scope 1 Scope
2 Normative reference 2 Normative reference
3 Terms 3 Terms
4 Requirements of an EnMS 4 Context of the organization
4.1 General requirements 5 Leadership
4.2 Responsibility of the management 6 Planning
4.3 Energy policy 7 Support/td>
4.4 Energy planning 8 Operation
4.5 Introduction and Implementation 9 Evaluation of performance
4.6 Monitoring 10 Improvement
4.7 Evaluation of the management  

  • Assumption of the requirements of ISO to management system standards, including a fundamental text, mutual terms and definitions which are consistent to the HLS and therefore provide a high range of compatibility to other management systems.
  • Greater integration into the strategy of the company
  • Greater emphasis on the role of top management
  • Terms and definitions have been updated including the clarification of the definition of Energy Performance Indicators (EnPI) and the Energy Baseline (EnB) to allow a better understanding of these concepts.
  • Inclusion of new terms
  • Energetic evaluation: Clarification of the process in relation to the significant energy use(SEU)
  • Normalisation of EnPI(s): If the organisation has data showing that relevant variables have a significant impact on energy performance, the organisation shall normalise the EnPI(s) and the corresponding EnB(s) to compare changes in energy performance.

ISO 50001: 2018 transition period

The transition period has been set by the IAF (International Accreditation Forum) at three years from the date of publication of the final version of the standard (20.08.2018). After the deadline (19.08.2021) all ISO 50001:2011 certificates will expire. According to IAF, accreditation bodies must be prepared to carry out transitional assessments of certification bodies for ISO 50001:2018 within 6 months from the date of publication of the revised standard.

Certification bodies must complete the transition with the responsible accreditation body for ISO 50001:2018 within 18 months from the date of publication of the revised standard (by 19.02.2020). In addition, certification/registration bodies shall cease conducting audits, including initial, surveillance and recertification audits according to ISO 50001:2011, 18 months after the date of publication of the final standard (19.02.2020).

Starting on the 20.02.2020, SystemCERT may only audit according to the new revision! This means that companies must plan the transition at an early stage and cannot exhaust the whole deadline of three years- like it is possible for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. We recommend that all companies may not underestimate the effort of the transition to the new revision! By dealing with the changes at an early point, you can analyse your management system and estimate the involved effort. Therefore, you will be able to begin with the transition at the right time.

The revision of ISO 50001 – Changes in Detail

The HLS – High level structure

In 2012, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) invented guidelines for the developers of all management systems standards as to how they should be structured: They have a common basic structure consisting of ten sections- this is called the “High level structure”. This makes life easier for companies which are using other management systems like ISO 9001 for quality or ISO 14001 for environmental protection in addition to ISO 50001. In all standards, the requirements on certain topics can now be found in the same paragraph, therefore it will be easier to merge different systems.
At the same time, the HLS contains a basic text for all standards and consistent definitions of terms which make the interaction of different management systems easier.

What innovation comes with the HLS?

Due to the common basic text of the HLS, the requirements for an energy management system (EnMS) are extended. Most importantly, the strategic integration of the EnMS must be ensured. For this purpose, internal and external topics as well as interested parties which are important for the EnMS and their requirements have to be identified. The identification of legal and other requirements to which the organisation has committed itself is therefore extended to include an analysis of internal and external influences on energy-related performance and the energy management system. Such influences can be e.g. politics, consumer associations, available techniques or interests of owners and employees. The risks and opportunities for the EnMS resulting from the analyses must be investigated and, if necessary, taken into account in the planning.

In addition, the previously required top management representative will be removed - in future, top management as a whole will be required to ensure that the EnMS achieves its intended results. In the future, an energy management team or an energy management officer will be responsible for the operational supervision of the EnMS.

Even more changes?

The regular monitoring of the standard led to the need to formulate individual requirements more precisely. For example: It is made clear that in the energy assessment for each essential energy use, the relevant variables that influence it, the current energy related performances and persons who are able to influence it have to be determined.

The role of energy performance indicators (EnPI) and energy baseline (EnB) is also presented more clearly: the EnPIs are intended to demonstrate the improvement of energy-related performance - and this is done by comparison with the corresponding baseline (the comments refer to the guideline DIN ISO 50006). Also new is the requirement to normalise both values if necessary, i.e. to include changes in relevant variables (and static factors if necessary) in the calculation. In this context, the standard also expressly requires that there must be specific targets for improving energy-related performance.

Finally, also the requirements for a “plan for energy measurement” are substantiated. It defines how data has to be collected and measured. The data comprehends:

  • Relevant variables regarding essential areas of energy use
  • Energy consumption of the energy using areas and the organization
  • Operating characteristics of the main energy using areas
  • If applicable, static factors
  • Data defined in action plans

Also the methods used to ensure the data from measurement and monitoring results have to be defined

What’s still the same?

The core concepts are still the same while weaknesses are eliminated. The new revision helps to improve already existing energy management systems.