In addition to structural measures, energy management primarily includes technical measures to optimise the distribution of energy, increase efficiency and sustainably reduce energy consumption. Companies seeking ISO 50001 certification must meet certain requirements for the monitoring, measurement and analysis of energy data. From 2020, the ISO 50001:2018 standard, which was revised in 2018, will be the mandatory basis for auditors to determine the extent to which the company's energy management system meets the criteria for certification.
In the form of ISO 50001, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has defined criteria aimed at the sustainable use of energy. The standard is considered an international standard and will continue to gain in importance after a flood of certifications in 2016. The latest update (ISO 50001:2018) contains even more precise requirements for the monitoring, measurement and analysis of energy data than the previous version from 2011.
The International Organization for Standardization conducts an annual survey (ISO Survey) to determine the number of certificates issued. Since 2015, the number of certificates for energy management has increased significantly. In just one year, an increase of 69 percent was recorded.¹ According to the current survey from 2018, more than 35,000 certificates for energy management were issued last year in Germany alone.² In Austria, companies with 250 or more employees are obliged to have an external energy audit carried out, or to operate a certified energy or environmental management system.
ISO 50001:2018 contains requirements on how to improve the energetic performance and efficiency of energy use. They relate to measuring, monitoring and analysing energy consumption data.
Continuous Measurement of Data as a New Challenge
Following the fundamental revision of the standard in 2018, the requirements have become more stringent, particularly with regard to continuous data measurement in the sense of an energy data acquisition plan. This means that instead of a one-off performance review of individual measures, continuous measurement and evaluation of the energy data is required.
There are many reasons for energy management in line with ISO 50001. Business owners are confronted with rising energy costs, which are reflected in the figures. But not only that. Sustainable action, reacting to the environmental situation appropriately, and creating a new awareness in the company for efficient use of resources are further aspects that speak in favour of introducing systematic energy management.
An energy management system consists of various components and solutions for the acquisition and analysis of energy-related data. Compressed air monitoring is an essential measure that can lead to a stable cost reduction in the course of introducing and expanding an energy management system; the capital outlay is relatively low.
Compressed air monitoring makes leaks in the compressed air system visible. It regularly supplies comparable data on compressed air consumption and is therefore indispensable for the development of decision bases for energy management planning.
Important Measure: Locating Leaks with Thermal Flow Meters
If hoses or pipes are not tight, compressed air usually escapes without being detected. The consequences are expensive cost drivers: the compressor running time is extended to compensate for the loss of compressed air. Energy consumption increases without anyone knowing the cause.
One measure that pays dividends within a short time is installing thermal flow meters. These are mounted on the compressed air system lines to measure the volume flow in the compressed air line. Any weak points in the compressed air system, no matter how small, are detected and can be eliminated at an early stage.