by Gustav Radloff

The one, the other or both?

Which new energy management standard is needed?

The SANS 50001 and the SANS 50010 work better together, than apart
energy saving.jpg

The first, called the SANS 50001 is the South African mirror of a standard set by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and is more commonly known as ISO 50001. The second is a homegrown standard: SANS 50010.

Shortly after the release of these two standards, the market started to question which one to implement, whether or not they overlap and whether or not we need to have both. As it happens these two standards address distinctly different but related aspects of energy management.

Purpose of ISO 50001

The purpose of this international standard is to enable organisations to establish the management systems and processes necessary to improve energy performance. Implementation of this international standard is intended to lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy cost and other related environmental impacts through the systematic management of energy. This standard is applicable to all types and sizes of organisations irrespective of geographical, cultural or social conditions.

Successful implementation depends on commitment from all levels and functions of the organisation and particularly from top management. It is important to note that ISO 50001 does not specify performance criteria, neither does it prescribe how to set a baseline, nor how to establish energy performance indicators (EPIs) or how to measure savings.

Purpose of SANS 50010

SANS 50010 was developed to ensure a standard and consistent approach to the measurement and verification (M&V) of energy savings and energy efficiency in South Africa. This standard is intended for use in the voluntary and regulatory domain. Energy savings are determined by comparing the measured use of energy, before and after the implementation of the energy savings programme and by making suitable adjustments for changes in conditions.

Without a consistent approach or standard outlining how these measurements should be taken as well as how and under which circumstances adjustments should be made, it is virtually impossible to compare apples to apples when evaluating different programmes.

The ISO committee responsible for the development of ISO 50001 started life as a project committee or PC, specifically PC 242. Within the ISO world a PC basically has one job: to develop and complete a specific standard. Once this job is done the PC becomes dormant until such time as the standard has to be revised or updated.

During the development of ISO 50001, the ISO Technical Management Board (TMB) decided that energy management is such an important international issue that the PC should be converted to a Technical Committee (TC).

Unlike a PC, a TC fulfills an ongoing function: in the case of TC 242, the function is to develop standards applicable to the broader energy management field.

ISO TC 242 has members from 47 countries that actively participate, with 50 observer members. Observer members are countries that keep an eye on developments, but do not actively participate. TC 242 is a well-represented committee within ISO, precisely because energy is such a relevant international topic.

Following the publication of ISO 50001, it was asked: ‘Will there be life in TC 242 now that ISO 50001 has been published?’ The answer was a resounding yes.

References: ISO 50001:2011, SATS 50010:2010

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