ISO 50001: What does this standard mean, and why is it important?

An important label in the industrial sector is the ISO 50001 label. This label was created by the EU to assess energy management systems. What does this label mean for your business? Sensorfact’s experts explain.

As of January 2023, Sensorfact’s EMS has been accredited to provide all functionality required to support companies requiring to obtain an ISO 50001 certificate.

Table of contents:

What does the ISO 50001 entail?

The ISO 50001 is a seal of approval for energy management systems of companies in the industrial sector. As such, it is a way of organising energy management within a company, thereby reducing its carbon footprint where less energy is consumed for the same production processes through smart housekeeping.

Reducing energy demand

Energy production accounts for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, reducing energy demand is high on the European Union’s agenda. The ISO 50001 can help companies accomplish this and is therefore a means of reducing the carbon footprint. According to the European Commission, 63 million tonnes of CO2 and 135 billion kWh of electricity can be saved by using smart energy management systems.

The ISO standard gives all kinds of companies tools and guidelines to save on their energy bills with an energy management system. This makes it easier for companies to reduce their emissions. According to the ISO, the organisation behind the label, the standard is a suitable  tool for the following purposes:

  • Developing a more efficient energy policy
  • Setting targets to shape this policy
  • Using data to understand energy consumption and make choices
  • Measuring results
  • Analysing the chosen energy policy
  • Continuously improving energy management

In short, the ISO standard ensures that global energy demand is reduced. This goal is achieved by using energy more efficiently, through smart EMSs.

Features of the ISO 50001

The label has a number of key features:

  • The policy must demonstrate a will within the organisation to improve the energy policy
  • There are two different components: energy consumption (the total purchase or production of energy) and energy use (how this purchased energy is used, in different categories)
  • An energy balance of both should be established
  • Energy KPIs should be established to measure and monitor energy performance
  • How to save energy in any of the new processes, equipment or facilities should be highlighted

An energy management system must meet these requirements to receive an ISO 50001 mark. Sensorfact’s energy management system has received a full accreditation to provide all technical functionality for companies wishing to receive an ISO 50001 certificate.

What is an energy management system?

A company can use the ISO 50001 mark if it uses a smart energy management system (EMS). An energy management system is a combination of hardware and software, which ensures that energy consumption can be monitored. EMS systems need to obey certain requirements before they can be used by companies who want to obtain an ISO 50001 certification. As mentioned, Sensorfact’s EMS has been externally audited to provide all the required technical support for this.

With measuring devices and algorithms, all the company’s energy consumption is mapped. An EMS is especially interesting for companies with more than 250 employees, a turnover of more than 50 million a year or a balance sheet with a total of more than €43 million. This is because these companies are subject to the European energy efficiency directive (EED) energy audit. According to the EED energy audit, every company has to submit an overview every 4 years with the energy balance and possible energy-saving measures.

An EMS can provide insight into this energy balance and energy-saving measures. Even for companies that are not subject to audit, but have an energy bill of more than €1,000 per month, an energy management system can help save energy. Sensorfact’s energy management system helps companies save up to 10% on their energy bills. Our smart meters measure the energy consumption of industrial machines every 30 seconds. The algorithm then identifies possible improvements in energy consumption.

How do you get ISO 50001 certification?

The organisation ISO, creator of the certificate, does not issue certificates itself. Therefore, to still get certified as a company, you need to commission an EMS that meets these standards. You can permit companies that specialise in these certificates audit your energy management system. There are a number of requirements an energy management system must meet before it can be ISO 50001-certified. First of all, it must focus on the continuous improvement of energy performance. Second, it must also comply with applicable legal requirements. Finally, the system must work according to the plan-do-check-act cycle.


The plan-do-check-act cycle (PDCA) is proven effective improvement methodology used in many industries:

  • You make a plan to improve a situation (P)
  • You test this plan in a test situation (D)
  • You review how this works (C)
  • You decide whether to implement this across the enterprise (A)

ISO 50001 systems also use the PDCA cycle.

Exemption from the EED audit with ISO 50001

Companies that have an EMS that meets the standards of 50001 are exempt from the EED audit.  Hence, using the right energy management system can save a lot of costs. In fact, you will not only save on your energy bill, but also on the cost of the EED audit.

What does ISO 50001 certification mean for your company?

Implementing an EMS with ISO 50001 certification within your company is an excellent move. By using a smart energy management system, you can save on energy bill costs. You will also emit less CO2 and thus contribute to a cleaner planet. Your lower costs and higher profits give you a competitive advantage. In addition, an ISO 50001-certified EMS has the advantage of being environmentally responsible. As a result, it also has a positive effect on your company’s brand value.

ISO 50001 systems are also claimable under the EIA scheme. As a result, you not only benefit from the usual deduction of an investment from your energy bill. You can also deduct a further 45.5% of the investment in a new EMS from your company’s taxable profit. This reduces the payback time of an investment. At Sensorfact, we offer smart energy management systems that help companies save up to 10% on their energy bills. Our technologies meet the requirements to obtain ISO 50001 certification. As a result, an investment in our technology is therefore also deductible through the EIA scheme. Do you have any questions or would you like to request a demo? Then please contact us.

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