The launch of ISO 50001, which specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving energy management systems, is likely to add further impetus to the energy management momentum building in South Africa, reports local energy optimisation company Energy Cybernetics.
Energy Cybernetics MD Gustav Radloff says the publication of the standard (on June 15) is well-timed for the South African market, given its supply capacity constraints. Companies embarking on an ISO 50001 drive will save money, gain international and local recognition and help to alleviate the strain on State-owned power utility Eskom’s supply network, he says.
ISO 50001 is an energy management standard which stipulates a set of interlinked processes, practices and procedures driven by a clear policy, with the aim of reducing energy costs. The standard requires organisational changes, both internally and externally, to optimally make a positive impact on energy use. From security personnel, who identify equipment in use outside of operating hours, to cleaning staff during their after-hours cleaning schedules and the purchasing department that continues to buy energy inefficient equipment, ISO 50001 facilitates the successful management of these changes for optimal energy management.
Energy is one of the most critical challenges facing the international community and the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) reportedly estimates that ISO 50001 could have a positive impact on some 60% of the world’s energy use.
The development of the standard over the past three years will now provide organisations with a recognised framework for integrating energy performance into their management practices. ISO secretary-general Rob Steele says individual organisations cannot control energy prices, government policies or the global economy, but they can improve the way they manage energy now.
North-West University director of energy cybernetics Professor L J Grobler welcomes the release of the standard and says indications are that it will have a bigger impact on international trade than ISO 90001, the quality management standard. He says the standard’s release also opens local job-creation opportunities as organisations now need assistance in preparation for the ISO 50001 certification process.
Energy Cybernetics’ training division has developed a two-day course for organisations to understand and become equipped for the implementation of the standard.