In the context of raising energy prices and growing attention to the environment, ensuring energy efficiency is more and more strategic for businesses and consumers, as well as for policy makers. For this reason, energy audits have a relevant role to play: they are an important tool for organizations to enhance their understanding of their current energy use and monitor it going forwards with the goal of reducing energy consumption.
To guide organizations through their energy audits, CEN has developed EN 16247-1 ‘Energy Audits’, with important contributions from influential energy experts including members of the Energy Institute, Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Energy Services and Technology Association, ESTA. The standard, the first one of a series, specifies the general requirements, common methodology and deliverables for energy audits. It is complemented by other documents that target more specific issues, such as buildings and transports.
An energy audit is the first step in good energy management: it allows to identify energy use and to use this information to reduce energy consumption and energy costs and meet increasing energy and environmental obligations. In this context, EN 16247-1 is not about energy efficiency per se, but about identifying energy usage and acting on the information gained. EN 16247-1 defines the attributes of a good quality energy audit, from clarifying the best approach in terms of scope, aims and thoroughness to ensuring clarity and transparency.
The standard applies to commercial, industrial, residential and public-sector organisations, excluding individual private dwellings. It is appropriate to all organisations regardless of size or industry sector and will serve as a useful management tool for energy, sustainability and environmental managers, auditors, consultants and senior management interested in targeting energy efficiency for both commercial and environmental benefit.
The standard was first created in response to the 2006 EU directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services, which has in the meantime been substituted by the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU), amended in 2018. Indeed, the transition to cleaner sources of energy has been a core tenet of the Brussels’ ambition to lead the fight against climate change and deliver on the commitments agreed in the Paris Agreement. In order to achieve its objectives, the EU has set a variety of actions through the “Clean Energy for all Europeans” package, which includes the Energy Efficiency Directive, and foresees a binding target of 32% for renewable energy sources in the EU’s energy mix by 2030. As a consequence, the standard is regularly updated and improved, and is currently undergoing a revision.
Based on the experiences of the companies who used it, the benefits of conducting an audit through EN 16247-1 for organizations are multifold and lasting: among them, it makes data on energy consumption known in detail, thus allowing for actions of reduction; it allows better planning and management of energy; it creates more direct communication across the different levels of the organisation. Finally, as a harmonised standard, it also ensures compliance with the EU legislation, and in particular to the Energy Directive.
Discover the benefits of adopting EN 16247-1 for businesses by reading these two case studies published by BSI, the British National Standardization Body:
BS EN 16247-1 was developed by CEN/CLC/JTC 14 ‘Energy management and energy efficiency in the framework of energy transition’, whose Secretariat is currently held by UNI, Italy’s National Standardization Body.
For more information, please contact Andrea Nam and Alina Iatan.
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