Getting Started

Companies can begin implementing ISO 50001 today. Listed below are some key technical resources that DOE, EPA, and others provide to help organizations initiate planning for an energy management system.

DOE has released a web-based toolkit, the DOE eGuide for ISO 50001, to help organizations implement an energy management system consistent with ISO 50001. This seven-step self-paced module guides organizations throughout the implementation process—from making an initial decision to utilize an energy management system to successfully implementing it. Review an outline of the steps. The eGuide includes forms, checklists, templates, and examples for developing and implementing an energy management system. Organizations new to energy management can use the DOE eGuide Lite to learn about the basics of better energy management. In April 2012, DOE will also hold a series of four webinars on ISO 50001 and discuss benefits to companies. Sign up to receive announcements about the toolkit, upcoming webinars, and other ISO 50001 information.

Secure a commitment from top management

Getting started on an energy management system begins with identifying the benefits to the organization of a systematic approach to energy management and gaining commitment from top management. Making the business case is an important element for the success of the energy management system. Identify your organization's business drivers that support organizational goals and strategies, and determine the role that the energy management system will play in supporting those drivers. Summarize the drivers and benefits in a short and targeted presentation to top management. Commitment from top management will provide the leadership and resources needed for the development, implementation, operation, and continual improvement of the energy management system. This includes defining the scope and boundaries of the EnMS, appointing an energy champion or management representative, and defining and communicating an energy policy.

Acquire energy data/Track and analyze energy data

Energy planning starts with gathering measurement and other data about energy in your organization. The data is used to profile the energy situation within your organization and to provide energy information to support other planning activities and decisions. This profile is called the "energy review." To get started on the energy review, collect and analyze data and information on your current energy sources and your past and present energy use and energy consumption. Plan for how you will track and analyze this data over time.

  • Check out DOE's Plant Energy Profiler (ePEP) to diagnose how energy is used at your site, calculate annual purchased energy costs, and create an energy profile in less than one hour.
  • Use the ENERGY STAR Energy Tracking ToolMicrosoft Excel to monitor energy use, energy intensity, energy costs, and GHG emissions corporate-wide or at a single facility in this Excel spreadsheet. Generate a dashboard to track progress toward achieving energy management goals. Recommended for use by small to medium-sized manufacturers.

Determine significant energy uses

Another step in developing the energy review involves using energy use information and energy consumption data to determine your major energy-consuming facilities, equipment, systems, processes and personnel. Then, decide which of these are significant based on criteria you set for what is substantial energy consumption or considerable opportunity for improvement. Because significant energy uses must be managed through appropriate operational and maintenance controls, training, and monitoring and measurement, designate only a few as significant energy uses. This ensures that resources are not overburdened, especially during initial EnMS implementation.

  • Use DOE's Plant Energy Profiler (ePEP) to identify your facility's major energy-consuming systems.

Establish a baseline

Establishing an energy baseline involves choosing a "base year" or a "base period of time" that will serve as the reference point against which future improvements in energy performance will be measured. The energy baseline consists of energy and organizational data from the initial energy review. To help select the period of time to be defined as the baseline, consider the following: a period for which reliable data is available, prior to beginning energy improvements; any applicable requirements from voluntary programs subscribed to by the organization; and the needs or satisfaction of key stakeholders.

  • Download DOE's Plant Energy Profiler (ePEP) to set a baseline for current energy use.
  • Review the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management to find information on how to set a baseline.

Identify energy opportunities

Another element of the energy review involves identifying opportunities for improving energy performance. Identifying energy opportunities provides a vital source of information for energy planning. It can uncover possibilities for continual improvement in energy performance ranging from improved operational practices to the deployment of advanced energy technologies. A variety of energy assessment tools, standards and guides are available to help your organization identify energy-saving opportunities. Other sources of opportunities for improving energy performance can include: employee suggestions, utility representatives, service technicians, equipment vendors, industrial sector standards, and equipment standards.

  • Download these powerful DOE software tools to identify energy-saving opportunities in common energy systems such as steam, process heating, and motor-driven systems. Participate in online or classroom training to increase knowledge about these tools.
  • Learn how to maximize energy savings by using the ASME Energy System Assessment Standards and practical guidance based on industry best practices for identifying opportunities in these energy systems: compressed air, steam, process heating, and pumping systems.
  • Learn how other companies reduced energy use. Search more than 100 DOE case studies by company, industry, and other categories.
  • Access the Clean Energy Application Centers to determine the applicability of Industrial Distributed Energy to your sites.
  • Review DOE's technical publications to increase knowledge of facility energy systems and guide company decision-making when setting energy management priorities. Technical publications grouped by energy systems are also available for: compressed air, steam, process heating, and pumping systems.

Prioritize energy-saving opportunities

It can be difficult and time-consuming for an organization to process every potential improvement opportunity. Using a systematic approach with defined prioritization criteria helps focus the organization's resources on the most viable energy-saving opportunities. When prioritizing opportunities, consider relevant organizational information, such as current business goals and strategies, existing operational or maintenance projects, hurdle-rates or other financial requirements for proposed capital projects, other requirements for resource or funding requests, and risk assessment methods and other tools already in place, among others. Examples of criteria for prioritizing opportunities could include: estimated energy or cost savings, financial cost of opportunity implementation, return on investment, ease or length of implementation, potential safety, health, and environmental issues, as well as possible impacts on maintenance or productivity.

  • Use DOE's Plant Energy Profiler (ePEP) to identify potential energy and cost savings by energy system, prioritize opportunities, and more.

Organizations may choose to work with an ANSI-certified professional to maximize the benefits of implementing ISO 50001. See the Professional Assistance page for more details.