Thursday, 27 March 2014

ISO 50001:2011, the new Energy Management Systems

Paul Downing - Temple Associate


Paul Downing, a Temple Associate, explains the new energy management system standard and its benefits. He also outlines how this can be used to apply a systematic approach to addressing the European Code of Conduct for data centres.  

ISO 50001:2011, Energy Management Systems (EnMS) is a new voluntary International Standard that establishes a framework for large and small businesses to improve the way they manage energy. Improved energy performance can provide financial benefits for an organization by maximizing the use of its energy resources and energy-related assets, thus reducing both energy consumption and cost. It also helps to provide evidence to customers that are demanding improved environmental performance from their suppliers.

The new standard is based on the tried and tested plan-do-check-act, (Demming cycle) which is used for many of the other standards such as ISO 14001:2004 (environmental management systems), so it can be easily integrated into these existing systems.

Although an energy management system (EnMS) can be part of an environmental management system (EMS), having a dedicated energy management system compliant to ISO 50001 can help deliver real benefits to organisations wishing to make savings on probably one of their most expensive resource costs, by providing a focus on oil, gas, electricity and general energy use. The EMS in contrast might focus on other regulatory issues such as waste production or chemical use, which, whilst important, do not have the same financial implications as energy.

Implementing an energy management system certified to ISO 50001, requires you to determine energy baseline(s), identify significant energy uses and energy performance indicators as well as structuring objectives and targets to drive down energy use via a systemised approach. There are also specific clauses relating to design (refurbishment projects, new build) and procurement, including specifying energy purchasing requirements for new assets or services.

The European Code of Conduct for data centres is a voluntary standard for data centre operators and owners which promotes energy efficiency best practice. The code is voluntary but includes many elements of energy efficiency which, if implemented, can help with energy savings across a number of KPI's within the data centre environment. These all help to drive down the PUE figure (Power Usage Efficiency) which is one of the main metrics of data centre energy management.

The code includes metrics related to supply and return temperatures, ASHRAE, CRAC unit temperature set-points and all other parameters all designed to optimise energy efficiency in the data centre environment. There is a natural fit with this CoC and ISO 50001 and the requirement of data centres to provide hosting in a most energy efficient way as possible.

ISO 50001 can be applied to any energy consuming industry in manufacturing or industry but as with most other systems there are some industries that seem to benefit from the standardised approach more than others. If you are looking to implement an energy minimisation project or change management programme please contact Temple to discuss your options further.

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