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ISO 50001 - What's New in 2018?

20 augustus 2018
The updated version of the Energy Management System ISO 50001:2018 was published on 21st August, find out what the expected changes are...

The updated version of the Energy Management System ISO 50001 was published on the 21st August 2018. The standard is a framework that sets out a systematic approach for the improvement of energy performance within an organization.

There are several changes that have been made to the 2011 version to bring the standard in line with the needs and changes of today’s business environments.

The biggest noticeable change is the incorporation of the Annex SL ‘high-level structure’, providing improved compatibility with other standards. This will allow an ‘integrated management system’ that complies with the requirements of different management system standards at the same time such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and the newly issued ISO 45001.

With this release, ISO 50001:2011 will eventually be withdrawn. The transition deadline has been confirmed by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) to be three years from the publication date.

To ensure that your certification remains valid after this deadline, you will need to make sure that the system is transitioned during this 3-year period. For those who have just transitioned to either I9001 or 14001, the process will be identical.

Users familiar with ISO 50001:2011 will recognize that most of the requirements of ISO 50001:2011 will be continued in ISO 50001:2018. This is particularly the case for the more energy specific elements and requirements, which is not a surprise as this was one of the stated objectives for the revision.

There are some new and revised requirements, most of them due changes introduced by the ‘high level structure’. These include:

Context of the organization

  • An organization shall determine external and internal issues relevant to its purpose and that affect its ability to achieve the intended outcomes of its energy management system (EnMS) and improve its energy performance. In other words high level understanding of influential factors affecting, negatively or positively, energy performance and the EnMS of the organization.

Needs of Interested Parties

  • The intention of this change is to use the contextual information above to identify the interested parties relevant to energy performance and the EnMS, and their needs and expectations (requirements).


  • Clause 5.1 now includes new demands to actively engage and demonstrate senior management leadership for the effectiveness of the energy management system and its expected outcome of improved energy performance.

Risk and opportunity management

  • Clause 6.1 requires an organization to determine, and where necessary, take action to address any risks or opportunities that may impact (either positively or negatively) the ability of the management system to deliver its intended results.


  • The revised standard now requires an organization to determine the necessary competence of people doing work under its control and that affects its energy performance and EnMS. In addition it must evaluate effectiveness of those actions taken to acquire the necessary competence.

Operational planning and control

  • Change has to be fully controlled and the impacts and consequences of unforeseen changes have to be reviewed.

  • Outsourced significant energy uses or processes related to them have to be controlled

  • Documented information to be kept to the extent necessary to have confidence that processes have been carried out as planned.

In addition to the above ‘high level structure’ changes, there are some changes that are specific to energy management – these mainly clarify existing processes:

Energy review

  • The process related to significant energy uses (SEU) has been amended to make a more logic “flow”. So now, for each SEU the relevant variables, current energy performance and identification of persons that influence or affect that SEU must be defined.

Energy performance Indicators (EnPIs)

  • Energy performance indicators (EnPIs) must now be suitable so as to enable the organization to demonstrate energy performance improvement.

  • When the organization has data indicating that relevant variables significantly affect energy performance, such data shall be considered in establishing the EnPI(s) to make sure that they are “fit for purpose”.

Energy baseline

  • Where you have data indicating that relevant variables significantly affect energy performance, the you need to carry out normalization of the EnPI(s) and corresponding energy baseline to compare energy performance changes.

  • The baseline shall be revised when there are major changes to the “static factors”.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • The term “Management representative” is no longer used, however all responsibilities given to this role in the 2011 standard are now passed to the energy management team.

We at NQA recommend starting to prepare for the transition as early as possible and plan properly to incorporate needed changes into your management system. Specifically we suggest that you:

  • Ensure that relevant staff within your organization are trained and understand the requirements and key changes to the standard.

  • Identify gaps which need to be addressed to meet the new requirements and establish an implementation plan. Implement those actions and update your management system to meet the new requirements.

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of implementation through internal audits and the NQA transition gap analysis form which will be available soon.

We are preparing ourselves for  the changes and what will be required to transition from ISO 50001:2011 to ISO 50001:2018. We can support you in all phases of the transition, so that you can start preparing, assess your level of readiness and efficiently complete that transition.