Are you considering obtaining your ISO 50001 certificate? Or maybe one of your clients is about to start on their first energy management adventure? Congratulations!
ISO 50001 is a great standard to implement if you want to establish a professional environment focused on saving energy. But getting ISO 50001 certified is not about going through the motions for a piece of paper you can frame above your desk. It’s about setting up an efficient and effective energy management system, for the lowest possible price and least amount of effort, don’t you think?
If I Buy Your Software, Will I Get ISO 50001 Certified?
This is a question I answer at least twice a week! Unfortunately, the answer is an inconvenient truth: NO software will magically get you ISO 50001 certified.
Not that I blame you for asking: lots of vendors are out there making false claims, like “if you buy our software, your ISO 50001 certificate is guaranteed in 2 months”. It’s a shame really, because these empty promises are a source of constant confusion among energy professionals.
To clarify things, let’s start with the actual text of ISO 50001. To get certified, you are required to:
- Engage top management, that shall demonstrate a commitment to the energy management plan
- Create an energy management team
- Define an energy policy for the entire organisation
- Take energy efficiency into consideration when designing new facilities, processes or products
Unfortunately, there is no way to use software as concrete proof of your company’s C-Level commitment or as an energy policy document. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a piece of the ISO 50001 puzzle!
Here’s a quick view of the Energy Management System model proposed by the ISO 50001 text where we have added features from energy management software wherever they can be most useful in your quest for certification:
Think of your EMS as an invaluable tool to fast-track your ISO 50001 certificate. It will speed things up for you by automating tasks you need to perform in your certification process, such as maintaining an energy record or tracking your EnPIs (Energy Performance Indicators). Let’s take a deeper dive into each concept.
aM&T Software Is Your Ally to Get ISO 50001 Certified Faster
To recap, we’d be shooting ourselves in the foot if we suggested that software is useless in getting your ISO 50001 certificate. It’s actually the other way around.
As our awesome little infographic shows, energy management software can help you in many areas of the system model needed to pass the certificate requirements.
It normally takes 6 months of preparation before you’ll be ready to meet ISO 50001 requirements, according to the experts surveyed in our recent guide on this topic. But it could take longer depending on the complexity of your organisation’s energy situation. Everything depends on the data you need to set a baseline and whether the quality or quantity of that data is sufficient.
One possible catalyst for this process is using energy management software, also known as aM&T software. Software is your best friend if you want to accelerate the ISO 50001 certification process because it:
- boosts implementation of the system, reducing setup time
- automates monitoring (you don’t need to go to the facility and write down energy metrics on paper or take photos) and verification (with M&V tools)
- does the mandatory energy review required by ISO 50001 automatically
- helps you to set your baseline, recalculate it and compare it with historical data to track your progress
- is the easiest way to share progress with your energy team and the rest of the organisation using automated reporting tools
DEXCell Energy Manager for ISO 50001
Integration with Meters: Getting Data No Matter What
First of all, one requisite to get ISO 50001 certified is that the energy management project must be a comprehensive process, involving the entire company. In terms of energy management that probably means getting readings from many different kinds of energy meters.
DEXCell is a hardware-neutral platform. That means that we will never force you to work with any specific meter: you can choose the ones you prefer. Or use the ones already installed in the facility.
In addition, we offer an open API that gives you the incredible power to develop your own integrations – even with non-energy systems. That’s because ISO 50001 standard KPIs are not always measured in kWh/m2 or day degrees, but could be benchmarked in other ways such as occupation, number of units produced, sales, etc. With DEXCell you can take that data from any type of system (CRM, ERP, etc.), or you can have our professional services team do it for you.
Measurement and Verification Tools for ISO 50001
One of the most important steps to getting ISO 50001 certified is demonstrating that:
- Energy management processes are in place
- All systems are working
- You have ways to track and monitor what is going on with your energy consumption, and a way to verify it
In the world of energy analytics software we call these “measurement and verification” tools, usually abbreviated as M&V.
DEXCell M&V tools allow you quantify savings across projects by tracking their performance according to a statistically estimated baseline or a specific time window. Here’s what it looks like:
You can use DEXCell M&V tools to:
- use different variables that fit your project best to calculate the appropriate baseline
- create your baseline using any statistical software you want, from Excel to Minitab
- calculate your baseline automatically using operational data for a given time period
- see your project savings for any given time period to track progress in a snap
- determine your highest consumption days and best “savings days” quickly and easily
Comprehensive and Global ISO 50001 Projects
The ISO standard is very clear on this one: the energy management system you put in place will have to take ALL company activities into account.
When it comes down to energy, you need to avoid the most common mistake: thinking about electricity only. Don’t be fooled by the fact that so many energy management software platforms out there have a million and one ways to analyse electricity, but absolutely nothing to track water, gas or thermal.
DEXCell Energy Manager is not one of those. You can measure and analyse any energy source within a single platform. Check our recent training video about gas, thermal & fuel tank optimisation to see some examples.
Adding Intelligence to your ISO 50001 System
Having an energy management system in place with the ISO standard is great. But have you thought about main reasons why you want to implement an ISO 50001?
Many ISO 50001 certificates on the market nowadays are implemented to obtain tax benefits, subsidies or for regulatory compliance.
Spending that much time and money just to scrape by the latest legislation, as we see it, is a total waste. Implementing the ISO 50001 standard should bring you way more benefits – and it can.
For instance, what if you could predict your future energy cost or consumption, and, therefore, make your freshly certified management system work to actually reduce its impact on the company bottom line?
That’s something you can do thanks to the new DEXCell Forecasting app. Check out this free online training about energy forecasting. Or, if you want to try the app for yourself, get started below:
Extend Your ISO 50001 Reach
Another interesting DEXCell feature that you probably won’t find elsewhere is our recently launched Carbon App. Learn more about it here.
Reporting carbon emissions (along with other greenhouse gases) is mandatory now in the United Kingdom. Other regulators will probably follow their lead soon enough, so better get ready sooner than later, right?
Many companies invest in expensive energy management systems only to realise later that they need an entirely separate tool to track carbon emissions.
Reports, Reports and Reports
Reports are a big piece of the ISO 50001 puzzle. You will not only want to create reports to share progress with your peers and bosses, but also to renew your certificate or share your efforts with local or regional authorities to get subsidies and other benefits.
DEXCell Energy Manager offers an advanced suite of reports, as well as the possibility of creating your own based on your specific ISO 50001 needs.
Check out a sample page from a report we put together with one of our partners, specific to ISO 50001: