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Is ISO 50001 the key to ESOS compliance?

As the next ESOS compliance deadline isn’t until 5th December 2019, ensuring that you have an effective energy management strategy in place might not be at the top of your to-do list. But, if you’re one of the 10,000 organisations that will need to have completed the whole process again by the Phase Two deadline, it’s a good idea to get started now – and ISO 50001 could be the best way forward for your business.

What is ISO 50001?

ISO 50001 is an international standard from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) provides businesses with a globally recognised framework to enable them to create an effective energy management system.

With input from energy management experts from over 60 countries, ISO 50001 outlines good practice protocols for businesses, in areas such as developing an energy management plan and measuring energy consumption. The standard does require continual energy performance improvement, but the goals an organisation needs to meet are set by the organisation itself rather than being prescribed by the ISO.

Is it right for my business?

Many businesses choose to adopt ISO 50001 because accreditation acts as a route to ESOS compliance, as long as at least 90% of total energy use is covered. So, if you’re ISO 50001 certified by the ESOS deadline, you can rest assured that you won’t need to do anything further to comply with ESOS regulations.

And, as a result of the energy management system you implement as part of ISO 50001, you’re likely to see a reduction in your greenhouse gas emissions. This will not only make it easier to meet any energy and carbon reduction commitments you may have, but it will boost your green credentials, which should appeal to stakeholders and customers alike.

While there are many benefits to ISO 50001, it may not be suitable for every business. Achieving ISO 50001 certification may require more extensive action towards energy efficiency than ESOS, and this means it could require more expenditure. The more you invest in energy management, the greater the cost savings you’re likely to see, but not every organisation will have spare funds to make that initial investment. Implementing an ISO 50001 energy management system will also take time – it can take up to a year to become certified – so you should consider whether you have the necessary resources to set aside. Remember, if you’re not ISO 50001 certified by the ESOS Phase Two deadline then you may need to use alternative ESOS compliance options.

What’s the alternative to ISO 50001?

Don’t worry if you don’t think ISO 50001 is the right option for your business – it’s not the only way to make your organisation more energy efficient! If you carried out an energy audit and produced an evidence pack in order to comply with ESOS Phase One, these documents are a good place to start. Look at the areas where you’re using a significant amount of energy and your energy saving recommendations, and begin to implement these suggestions.

Be aware that you will still need to repeat the process you carried out for Phase One – appointing an ESOS Lead Assessor, conducting an audit and preparing an evidence pack – to ensure you meet the Phase Two deadline.

If you’d like to find out more about ISO 50001 and whether it’s the right option for your business, our compliance team is here to help. We’ve guided many of our customers through the first phase of ESOS and we’re on hand to assist you with Phase Two compliance, whether you choose to become ISO 50001 certified or take another route. Get in touch today on 0845 46 36 26 or email