Energy Management System (ISO 50001) could influence upto 60% of the world energy use

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

16At a time the country is going through a potential energy crisis the available measures to conserve energy conservation needclose examination. The energy management system ISO 50001:2011 (EnMS) outlines the requirements of an EnMS and it is estimated this system has the potential of influencing total energy consumption to an extent of 60% of global energy usage.

It is clear that individual organisations cannot control energy prices, government policies or the global economy, but they can improve the way they manage energy in their own situation. Improved energy performance can provide rapid benefits for an organisation by maximising the use of its energy sources and energy related assets, thereby reducing both energy cost and consumption. The organisations will also make positive contributions towards reducing depletion if energy resources and mitigating worldwide effects of energy use, such as global warming.

The current efforts of the Government to promote other sources of energy, especially solar power, came a little late as EnMS was introduced to Sri Lanka in 2014 by the Sri Lanka Association for Quality (SLAQ) in association with the British Standards Institution (India), followed by a full day seminar on the same subject.17

The message was picked up by Aitken Spence Hotel Management Services starting with their flagship hotel Heritance Ahungalla and this was followed up by rest of the hotelsunder Aitken Spence management. Heritance Ahungalla saved up to 8% of its total energy usage within the first year itself.

As noted in other management systems, the efficiency of the EnMS is basically dependent on effectiveness of the auditors and the certification body. In this type of a national issue it could be recommended to use one or two certification bodies and hold them answerable for not achieving results. This needs to be an independent body such as Sri Lanka Federation for Quality (SLFQ) to monitorthe effectiveness of these systems as it is proved the accreditation procedures do not fully ensure the reliability of these certification programs.

However this has not received any encouragement by the authorities and it virtually came to a halt. This could be an area where Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) exercises their authority.  


The global non-renewable energy supply can provide fuel oils for the next 45 years, gas for the next 65 years and coal for another 185 years (BSI 2009).It is also noted that the energy consumption in Asia is the highest with North America Europe and LatinAmerica next in linein that order.

The fuel oil supply is supplied mainly from West Asia and the supply is highly sensitive as it is directly related to the political situation in these countries. The hydropower is costly with long construction time involved and it hasalmost reached saturation point.

The other sources such as wind power and solar are still in the development stages and these tend to be costly.


In many countries energy usage is controlled by legislations. These include:

  • The Energy Policy Act (2005) and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - USA
  • Climate Change Levy  (CCCL), and Climate Change Agreement (CCA) - UK 
  • EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) - EU
  • National Frame Work for Energy Efficiency (NFEE), National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act (NGER) - Australia
  • Energy Conservation law, Energy Conservation and increase in Energy Efficiency Law (Russia) and National Energy Strategy 2020 (ES 2020)
  • Energy Conservation Law (October 2007) (China)
  • Energy Conservation Law  1979 (Japan)
  • Energy Conservation Act @001 (India)

It is time new legislations are introduced to conserve energy usage as most hotels, factories (tea/garment) and many other commercial operations are in a position to use renew energy supplies and thereshould be a timeframe to possibly go solar and some incentives should be provided.

It is time the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority addresses this issue without any further delay and recommends suitable measures to the Government.

What is ISO 50001?

World energy use is now receiving serious attention of the national planners as hydropower has limitations and is used for other purposes too such as agriculture, drinking, and further most countries have now reached the optimum level of generating hydro-power.

The other popular source of energy is the use of fossil fuels, which has a number of limitations. It is expected that fuel oil deposits are mostly found in the Middle East, with South America and East Asia also contributing significantly.

The supplies from these regions are highly volatile with many uncertainties in the political situation, where ongoing wars could any moment disrupt the supplies.

With this scenario ISO 50001 will play astrategic role in cutting down energy usage without immediately incurring additional expenditure for renewable sources of energy,

The request to develop EnMS standard was made by UNIDO, realising the need to mount an effective response to climate change and to the proliferation of national energy management standards. Experts from 44 ISO member countries participated in this exercise and in addition to UNIDO, the World Energy Council (WEC) also supported this move.

In this exercise numerous national and regional energy management standards, specifications and regulations, including ones developed in China, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand,the USA and the European Union were taken into consideration.

ISO 50001 is based on the management system model that is already understood and implemented by organisations worldwide. It can make a positive difference for organisations of all types immediately, while supporting longer term efforts for improved energy technologies. 

ISO 50001 standard explains that: “The  purpose of this international standard is to enable organisations to establish the systems and processes necessary to improve energy performance, including energy efficiency, use, and consumption, implementation of this standard is intended tolead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GSG) energy cost, and other environment related impacts,through systematic management of energy.”


The expected benefits on an effective EnMS are;

  • Allows for systems and processes to be established to improve energy efficiency
  • Introduces a continuous improvement process
  • Creates energy monitoring policy and objectives
  • Secured energy supply
  • Improved drive toward innovation


As this standard can be used for certification, registration and self-declaration of an organisation’s EnMS. However this standard des not establish absolute requirements for energy performance beyond the commitments in the energy requirements and other requirements.

This standard specifically mentions requirements for an energy policy, energy planning, energy review,energy baseline energy performance indicators, energy objectives, energy targets and energy management action plans, and the current situation relies more on the ability of the auditors to ensure these EnMS requirements are adequately fulfilled.

In the absence of any legal requirements, the energy policy could be weak and as such it will be more of a responsibility of the organisation to make the EnMS really work.  

It is recommended to appoint a tea m to look into ways of promoting this standard and make appropriate recommendations to the government to enact suitable legislations to encourage use of this standard and monitor the successes.

[The writer is a former Deputy Director General of SLSI and he was responsible for introducing EnMS (ISO 50001) in the Country. He is a winner of Harrington/Ishikawa medal of the Asia Pacific Quality Organization for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of quality in the Asian and the Pacific region.]

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