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How the Energy Efficiency Directive boosts a European Standard for Energy Audits

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There are many different standards around the world in terms of Energy Audits. But as far as I know, none of them provide a comprehensive transparent scheme both for energy services companies (ESCOs) and customers whatever the assets is. The 2012 European Energy Efficiency Directive provides a incentivising legal framework to help one standard become a worldwide reference.

An energy audit is an important step (the first one) for an organisation willing to improve its Energy Efficiency, and reduce its energy consumption.

The European Energy Efficiency Directive of 4 December 2012 set out to make Member States to promote Energy Audits and (“Member States shall promote the availability to all final customers of high quality energy audits which are cost-effective […] and develop programmes to encourage SMEs to undergo energy audits and the subsequent implemen­tation of the recommendations from these audits”). It also obliges big firms (>250 employees, >€50M turnover) to carry out an independent audit before the 5th of Decembre 2015 and then every 4 years.

Simultaneously, European Normalisation Organisations developped a European Standard for Energy Audits: EN 16247-1:2012 Energy audits – General requirements defines the attributes of a good quality energy audit.

This European standard specifies the requirements, common methodology and deliverables for energy audits. It:

  • applies to commercial, industrial, residential, and public-sector organisations, excluding individual private dwellings
  • doesn’t deal with the energy audit programme/scheme properties (such as programme administration, training of energy auditors, quality control issues, energy auditors’ tools, and so on)
  • specifies the requirements, common methodology, and deliverables for energy audits
  • covers the general requirements common to all energy audits

This European Standard is quoted in the Energy Efficiency Directive as a document reference to comply with the Directive’s requirements. However, Energy Management Systems (EMS), certified with EN ISO 50001 and already including Energy Audits, should be accepted as well.

Indeed, to establish a process of continuous improvement in energy efficiency, companies either need to implement an EMS in accordance with the EN ISO 50001 standard or carry out energy audits at regular intervals in accordance with the EN 16247 standard.

Energy Audits’ benefits for clients are numerous:

  • Slash energy costs and strengthen competitiveness
  • Make processes more transparent and ensure continuous improvement
  • Raise energy awareness among firms’ employees
  • Lay the technical foundation for establishing an EMS later on

The EN 16247-1 is the first of a serie of standards dedicated to Energy Audits and designed by the common CEN/CENELEC JWG 1 WorkGroup. 4 other parts, still in progress, provide specific methodologies for Buildings Energy Audits (EN 16247-2), Industrial Processes (EN 16247-3) and Transports (EN 16247-4). A 5th part should define the specifications required to become a certified auditor (EN 16247-5).

 

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