“The implementation of an energy management system aligned to ISO 50001 is critical to capacitate industry in managing its energy efficiently.”

Interview with Alf Hartzenburg, Senior Project Manager Western Cape – Industrial Energy Efficiency Project, National Cleaner Production Centre of SA, CSIR and speaker in the Large Power Users track at the upcoming African Utility Week.  He will speak on the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard.

1)      What will the energy management standard ISO 50001 add to industry?
ISO 5001 establishes a framework for industrial plants to manage its energy. The standard enables industry to align it efforts at managing energy in an effective manner consistent with a global benchmark. It is estimated that the standard could influence up to 60% of the world’s energy use.

2)      Why does industry need yet another ISO?
Energy is becoming more critical for organisational operations and is a major cost to organisations whatever their activities. ISO 50001 is the first ISO standard which directly serves to improve cost of operations and impact the business bottom line. In addition to the economic benefits energy can impose environmental and societal costs by depleting resources and contributing to problems such as climate change.

3)      What is the best way to utilise this new Energy Management System in existing standards and policies?
ISO 50001 lends itself well to integration with existing ISO standards and ISO 14001 is particularly well suited for integration. The energy management system has successfully been integrated into existing business management systems thereby obviating the need for cost and systems duplication.

4)      What do you believe will be the main advantages of this new industry standard?
The standard is intended to accomplish the following :
• Assist organizations in making better use of their existing energy consuming
• Create transparency and facilitate communication on the management
of energy resources
• Promote energy management best practices and reinforce good energy
management behaviours
• Assist facilities in evaluating and prioritizing the implementation of new
energy-efficient technologies
• Provide a framework for promoting energy efficiency throughout the
supply chain
• Facilitate energy management improvements for greenhouse gas
emission reduction projects.

5)      How will this help Africa at large?
The developed world is experiencing a decline in energy demand whereas developing countries are expected to experience an acceleration in energy demand. As economic growth in African countries is set to take off corresponding energy demand is expected to balloon. The implementation of an energy management system aligned to ISO 50001 is critical to capacitate industry in managing its energy efficiently.

6)      Do you have some success stories/case studies to share?
Yes, some very encouraging case studies capturing the impact of early ISO 50001 energy management system implementation in South African companies.  I will share greater detail at African Utility Week.

7)      What will be your main message at African Utility Week?
That any business seeking to remain competitive in the new world of declining energy reserves and seeking a sustainable solution must seriously consider the implementation of the ISO 50001 aligned energy management system. This does not only apply to energy intensive industry sectors.

8 )      Anything you would like to add?
We are witnessing a growing appreciation of ISO 50001 and realization of its importance in South African industry across all sectors. Ignore this movement at your peril.

About Alf Hartzenburg’s presentation:
It will sketch the global energy and CO2 emissions context and the proliferation of national energy management standards that necessitated the formulation of ISO 50001.


It will define the basis and examine key elements of the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard and demonstrate its integration with other management standards, notably ISO 9001 and 14001.


The description of the Standard will be coloured by an explanation of UNIDO’s energy management system which is based on ISO 50001 and in doing so emphasize the key tenets of the Standard, viz.

–         Its systematic implementation methodology

–        The sustainable approach to implementation and

–        The systems approach to energy systems optimisation.


The presentation will wrap up with a few case studies in the Western Cape and Kwazulu Natal which demonstrates early energy savings arising from the implementation of UNIDO’s energy management system.


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