Energy Data Management: Why ISO 50001 Is Not Everything

We are constantly asked: "Do you sell energy management systems?" The response is always the same: "Yes and no." Our product portfolio encompasses devices, servers and software for the acquisition and analysis of energy-related data. So, in practice, we sell much more than just energy management: we sell energy efficiency systems.

ISO 50001

ISO 50001 is the standard for implementing an energy management system (EnMS). The focus lies on the term "management system," a methodology applied alongside other management systems such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 to set objectives, implement them systematically and minimize risk factors as much as possible.

The PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) system is a continuous improvement process, assessing step-by-step procedures for optimization potential, as well as outlining measures, responsibilities, resources and time frames required for success. ISO 50001 is similar in structure to both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and can be easily integrated into existing management systems, simplifying implementation.

  • The "check" in the PDCA process refers to measured data acquisition and evaluation or, in other words, energy data management. Without measurement, target vs. actual comparisons and benchmarks cannot be obtained. While ISO 50001 does not offer explicit guidelines concerning the scope and frequency of energy measurements, practical experience demonstrates that a minimum level of measurement technology is necessary for continuous data collection, particularly for all significant loads. Without this, the potential for savings can only be partially identified, and the achievement of energy-saving goals may be limited. As customers undergo the PDCA process with a minimum measurement scope, they come to appreciate the advantages of extensive monitoring across as many loads as possible.

    Our measuring systems are scalable in application and grow with the customer's requirements. Existing structures can be incorporated, and our measuring devices can be integrated into existing systems.

  • In relation to the calibration of measuring devices in conjunction with ISO 50001, the standard does not prescribe specific requirements. Neither calibrated meters nor regular recalibration of measuring devices is obligatory. This would be an impractical workload, as digital measuring devices typically cannot be calibrated while in use.

    The company seeking certification must ensure comparability of measurements across different time frames and document the checks accordingly. When using our universal measuring devices as intended (ambient temperature), their measurement accuracy remains superior even after years of use compared to conventional meters immediately after delivery. In practice, we recommend conducting random comparative or parallel measurements of power and energy values using high-quality devices, such as our portable MRG 605 or MRG 511, via the current transformer measurement terminal strips we provide.

Who even needs ISO 50001?

(most recent German legal situation 2013)

Information on the subject and application can be obtained from the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control:

EEG § 40 ff. – EEG levy reduction

Under certain conditions companies are entitled to submit an application for a reduction in the EEG (German renewable energy act) levy.

  • The company must belong to the manufacturing industry
  • The electricity costs must account for at least 14 % of the gross value added
  • The annual consumption must be at least 1 GWh per site
  • From an annual consumption of 10 GWh, certification per ISO 50001 is required in order to request the reduction

The regulation is intended to secure the international competitiveness of energy- intensive companies. Due to the increase in the proportion of renewable energy generators, the EEG levy is likely to continue rising considerably. This means a significant competitive disadvantage for energy-intensive companies. Despite all the half-truths being touted by the media, in practice it is apparent that the lion's share of all companies who have applied for the EEG reduction and received approval for this are actually amongst the most energy-intensive companies and are in international competition. A significantly greater proportion of companies with a high power consumption of > 1 GWh per year fell at the first hurdle of the approval process, with the 14 % gross value added requirement.

You can receive applications and information from the main customs office responsible:

Electricity tax law § 10 – surplus settlement

Under certain conditions, companies in the manufacturing sector are able to benefit from the so-called surplus settlement according to § 10 StromStG. This allows companies to obtain a reimbursement or tax relief against their remaining tax burden, through the application of § 9b StromStG.This "relief in special cases" (surplus settlement) is only granted if the tax burden exceeds € 1,000 in the calendar year (excess/basic amount).The rate of relief is dependent on the difference between the energy tax, which exceeds the basic amount, and the (notional) relief, which is derived on the basis that pension contributions have fallen since the introduction of energy tax (general pension contribution was 20.3 % prior to the introduction of energy tax and now stands at 18.9 %; with an employer contribution of 50 % this means a reduction of 0.7 % for the employer in 2013; the "difference"). A maximum 90 % of this difference is granted as relief, reimbursed or credited. This calculation formula leads to companies with a high power consumption and few employees (subject to statutory pension contributions) profiting in particular from the surplus settlement.

Since 2013 large companies require a certified energy management system per ISO 50001 in order to request the surplus settlement. For small and medium- sized companies (SME) an energy audit per DIN EN 16247-1 is sufficient.

In practice:

Managing director F. to works manager A.: "How much current do we actually use?" Works manager A.: "Not entirely sure, certainly a lot!" Managing director F.: "Be sure to change that!" Works manager A. to site electrician M.: "We need to reduce our energy costs. Take care of it." One year later. Managing director F. to works manager A.: "The energy bills are as high as ever. How is that possible?" Works manager A.: "I need to ask M. that." Works manager A. to site electrician M.: "We are still paying crazy energy bills. How is that possible? I told you that you needed to sort that out!" Site electrician M.: "Yes boss. But the controller cancelled the cash for new drives, then my colleague was ill for four weeks and you know that day-to-day work is hectic, the telephone rings constantly and everyone wants something!"

... with ISO 50001 that would not have happened!

  • Who needs an energy management system (EnMS)?

    Essentially, every company that consumes a certain amount of power and has a large number of different loads and processes benefits from introducing an energy management system per ISO 50001. The system behind this ensures sustainable targeted measures for reducing energy costs. Furthermore, an EnMS per ISO 50001 will become an increasingly significant marketing instrument for presenting a green and environmentally conscious company philosophy in the future.

    Energy management constitutes a closed loop with the objective of constant improvement. One must concede that professionally functioning companies do not necessarily need to establish a certified management system within their organization to reduce their energy costs on a sustained basis. Furthermore, there are countless companies for whom the legal prerequisites for an EEG levy reduction or the surplus settlement are irrelevant, making ISO 50001 less significant. However, energy costs remain high. Establishing the necessary transparency with an energy data management system from Janitza lays the cornerstone for sustainable, energy-conscious housekeeping.

    Energy management constitutes a closed loop with the objective of constant improvement.

  • Energy management constitutes a closed loop with the objective of constant improvement.

You can find a helpful overview of all subjects pertaining to ISO 50001, energy efficiency andsubsidyoptionsfortheGermanmarket on the following internet sites:

Load management and optimization of production processes

Energy costs can increase not only due to peak loads but also during shift-free periods and idle phases in large production operations. In such cases, annual power consumption of multiple gigawatt hours per site can occur, depending on the process. Implementing a fine-meshed network of measurement points within production structures, combined with modern PLC controllers and production control systems, allows for real-time automated optimization at a high level.

Janitza monitoring devices and systems are well-suited for this task due to their open communication interfaces, high sampling rates and accurate measurements. By continuously monitoring and analyzing energy consumption, these devices help identify inefficiencies and waste in production processes, making it possible to implement energy-saving measures, optimize operations and ultimately reduce energy costs.

Load management and purchasing electricity

When you know your facilities' load curves, you can buy electricity on the spot market with pinpoint accuracy -- you will have precise knowledge of the volatility of demand due to your load profiles.

Grants and incentives

National, state and local governments provide assistance for implementing measures and investing in systems and operating equipment for enhancing energy efficiency. The list of incentives is long, and the offers change frequently and vary from country to country. It is essential to stay informed and take advantage of these opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs for your business.