ISO to Develop Energy Management Standard

The first meeting of ISO's new project committee PC 242, which is to develop an International Standard on energy management, was held Sept. 8-10 in Washington, D.C., according to a Sept. 15 press release.

The future ISO 50001 will establish a framework for industrial plants, commercial facilities, or entire organizations to manage energy. Targeting broad applicability across national economic sectors, the standard could influence up to 60 percent of the world’s energy use.

The meeting was attended by delegates from the ISO national member bodies of 25 countries from all regions of the world, as well as representatives from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which has liaison status with PC 242.

All the participating countries have existing activities on energy management and have a strong interest in developing a harmonized solution at the international level. As part of the proceedings, delegates described their various initiatives in detail. For example, a presentation was given by UNIDO on the preparatory work the organization has carried out to support the ISO process by researching energy management needs in developing countries.

This gave PC 242 an insight into the different policies and situations around the world which need to be taken into account in the development of a globally relevant International Standard for energy management.

Excellent progress was made in the technical discussions and a first working draft has already been created. A major point of discussion is the need to ensure compatibility with the existing suite of ISO management system standards. The committee therefore took the key decision to base the draft on the common elements found in all of ISO’s management system standards. This will ensure maximum compatibility with key standards such as ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 14001 for environmental management.

The project committee aims to have ISO 50001 ready for publication by the end of 2010.

ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden commented: "This first meeting of PC 242 marks the launch of a new global approach to systematically address energy performance in organizations -- pragmatically addressing energy efficiency and related climate change impacts. It is fully in line with and supportive of the global mobilization on these major challenges, and with the IEA-ISO position paper on the contribution of International Standards.”

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