About Energy Management

An energy management system (EnMS) is an integrated management culture that focuses on the continual improvement of energy performance as an everyday business practice. The culture of business management has been extremely effective in improving channels like quality management and inventory management—and energy is also a component that can be managed and made more efficient. Whether you’re operating a 3-million square foot manufacturing plant or a single-story office building, effective energy management helps to reduce your organization’s energy costs through the optimized use of your energy-consuming assets and operations. By reducing the cost and risk associated with your energy consumption, you can dedicate more of your resources to improving the health and safety of your employees, growing your staff, and expanding production.

ISO 50001: The Energy Management System Standard

ISO 50001 is the global standard for energy management systems that focuses on the continual improvement of energy performance as an everyday business practice. ISO 50001 follows a best practice Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle that positions your organization to achieve and sustain energy and cost savings through informed and systematic decision-making. ISO 50001 is distinctive in that it does not prescribe specific energy performance improvement criteria, but rather, specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving an energy management system from a business operations perspective.

Along with over 50 countries, the US and DOE have been leaders throughout the development of ISO 50001 since 2007, and continue to play an active role in the standards making process. DOE is supporting widespread market-driven adoption of ISO 50001 with over $3 million in DOE and industry investment, in order to bring business value to companies and organizations across the US.

> See how many energy best practices you can find at your facility!

> Find out more about ISO 50001: The Global Energy Management Standard

DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office supports two major programs to encourage uptake of ISO 50001 and prove the business case: the Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program and the 50001 Ready program.


The 50001 Ready Program

Just getting started with EnMS? DOE's 50001 Ready program recognizes organizations that establish the foundational structure of ISO 50001 in industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities, without requiring any third-party audits or certifications. The program prepares and encourages facilities to pursue ISO 50001 and SEP certification by providing user-friendly, self-paced navigation through the proven principles of ISO 50001. To be 50001 Ready recognized, organizations are responsible for completing 25 tasks in the 50001 Ready Navigator, self-attesting to their completion, and measuring and improving energy performance over time.

> Find out more about 50001 Ready for Facilities and End Users
> Find out more about 50001 Ready for Utilities and Implementers


Superior Energy Performance Program

Ready to go above and beyond ISO 50001? DOE's Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) certification program provides technical resources to help facilities implement ISO 50001—and recognition for demonstrating energy management excellence and sustaining energy savings. SEP provides guidance, tools, and protocols to drive deeper, more sustained savings from ISO 50001. To become certified, facilities must implement an energy management system that meets the ISO 50001 standard and demonstrate third-party verified improved energy performance. This certification emphasizes measureable savings through a transparent process.

> Find out more about the Superior Energy Performance program

Frequently Asked Questions

Click "More" below to read Frequently Asked Questions about energy management standards, programs and certifications. A full list of FAQs can be found here.

What is the difference between a 50001 Ready designation and ISO 50001 or SEP certification?

50001 Ready is a designation from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for facilities that have self-attested to the implementation of an energy management system (EnMS) according to the guidance provided in the 50001 Ready Navigator application. 50001 Ready is not a certification and is issued solely at the discretion of DOE. Formal certifications for energy management such as ISO 50001 and Superior Energy Performance (SEP) require third-party verification of implementation and energy performance to establish eligibility. Find more information at www.energy.gov/ISO50001.

Will being 50001 Ready help me achieve ISO 50001 or SEP certification?

Yes, guidance for 50001 Ready has been designed using the ISO 50001 structure, and sets the foundation for additional certification(s) requiring third-party verification.

What are the steps to move from 50001 Ready to ISO 50001 or SEP certification?

Costs and time to achieve ISO 50001 or SEP certification will vary widely depending on organizational complexity. Generally, ISO 50001 certification requirements beyond 50001 Ready would include completion of a full internal audit cycle, a corrective and preventive action cycle, and a full management review cycle. SEP certification also requires a bottom-up calculation of energy savings from completed improvement projects. DOE encourages contacting a third-party auditor or certification body for further information.

If I am 50001 Ready, why would I then pursue ISO 50001 or SEP certification?

The choice to pursue ISO 50001 or SEP certifications after becoming 50001 Ready is a logical next step in establishing and sustaining an energy management culture in your organization. Many organizations have found that the third-party validation and additional rigor in documenting improvement are beneficial in achieving their energy performance and cost reduction goals. Additional certifications may also communicate your organization’s leadership in energy management and social responsibility to your customers.

If I am ISO 50001 or SEP certified, why would I pursue 50001 Ready?

If your facility is already ISO 50001 or SEP certified, then you have already exceeded the requirements for implementing a 50001 Ready EnMS. At the enterprise level, you may be interested in working through the 50001 Ready Navigator application to encourage other facilities in your organization or supply chain to pursue the 50001 Ready designation.

If I am ISO 50001 or SEP certified, will 50001 Ready help me with recertification?

The 50001 Ready designation itself will have no effect on your ability to get recertified to ISO 50001 or SEP, though maintenance of your EnMS processes and procedures as outlined in the 50001 Ready Navigator application could certainly uphold a culture of continually improved energy management.

Will the 50001 Ready Navigator be modified to align with updates to the ISO 50001 standard?

The ISO 50001 standard is anticipated to be updated in 2018, and DOE will revise the procedures and tasks in the 50001 Ready Navigator application in order to ensure that the 50001 Ready structure remains consistent with the standard. Modifications will be highlighted in the Navigator when this occurs. Facilities with an active 50001 Ready designation will not be required to attest to completion of the updated tasks until their designation expires.

Can I be 50001 Ready if I follow EPA's ENERGY STAR Energy Management Guidelines?

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR Energy Management Guidelines are certainly complementary to achieving the 50001 Ready designation, but completion of the 25 tasks in the 50001 Ready Navigator is required for DOE recognition. Tooltips are available in the 50001 Ready Navigator to provide specific guidance between Navigator tasks and sections of the ENERGY STAR Energy Management Guidelines.

How does my ENERGY STAR score relate to 50001 Ready?

ENERGY STAR certification indicates impressive energy performance compared to similar facilities, but is not necessarily an indication of having an energy management system in place. Implementing a 50001 Ready EnMS will contribute to energy performance improvements that may be reflected in improved ENERGY STAR scores over time.

How does 50001 Ready provide value for Better Buildings, Better Plants partners?

Implementing an EnMS and achieving the 50001 Ready designation will help Better Buildings, Better Plants partners achieve their stated energy and sustainability goals by instituting a culture of continuous improvement. 50001 Ready can also provide additional recognition at the facility level (versus corporate), often by using the same facility energy improvement data submitted for Better Buildings, Better Plants.

Will being a Better Buildings, Better Plants partner help me be 50001 Ready?

Yes, participating in Better Buildings, Better Plants indicates the completion of several 50001 Ready Navigator tasks, including the establishment of an energy policy and management commitment. Tooltips will be available in the 50001 Ready Navigator to provide specific guidance between Navigator tasks and Better Buildings, Better Plants requirements.