Getting Municipal Energy Management Systems ISO 50001 Certified: A Study with 28 European Municipalities
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Consultant Support
- A guidebook on EnMS gave detailed information on the requirements an ISO 50001 EnMS has to fulfil as well as how to implement and operate one.
- Municipal energy managers and their energy teams were supported in developing an energy policy, with the energy review including the identification of significant energy-using sites (e.g., street lighting or large municipal buildings) and the definition of baseline values, and determining targets and actions for the energy improvement period. Street lighting has been identified as an energy use that allows for retrofits that are relatively easy to implement and promise relatively large decreases in energy consumption . Regarding improving the energy efficiency of public buildings, earlier studies found information and awareness about energy use in public buildings an important prerequisite, although not necessarily sufficient .
- All of this information and related procedures were combined in the EnMS manual, compatible with the ISO 50001:2018 standard.
- An internal audit was conducted with a standardized template developed for the study. This internal audit encompassed a detailed questionnaire with which the energy managers and energy teams could check whether they had taken all the important steps before the certification audit. The questionnaire could also be used after the certification audit to monitor the continuous adherence to the standards.
- An online energy monitoring platform that was adapted to national requirements facilitated the monitoring and analyses of municipal energy consumption by providing a standardized method and reducing the effort associated with energy monitoring. That proper software facilitates energy management was already found in earlier studies .
- Municipalities were assisted in certification cost assessment and the evaluation of the offers received by certification bodies. Energy managers and their teams were supported in preparing the certification audit and during the certification audit itself, if necessary.
2.2. Survey among Energy Managers
- Collect data on the municipality’s motivation to establish an energy management system. Respondents were first asked to name the three important motives. Afterwards, we showed them possible motivations and asked them to rate their importance on a five-point scale from “not important” to “very important.” We phrased the items based on the results by Marimon and Casadesús . The motivations we named referred to social requirements (e.g., demands by councilors, legal requirements, the project Compete4SECAP), ecology and economy drivers (e.g., reducing energy costs, mitigating GHG emissions), and something akin to competitive advantage (e.g., being a role model for local companies, rationalization of inefficient workflows).
- Collect data on challenges in establishing an energy management system. Again, respondents were asked to spontaneously name the three challenges that were hardest to overcome. Afterwards, respondents rated how hard it was to overcome certain challenges on a five-point scale from “not at all” to “extremely.” The items we used were based on topics discussed in the literature  and ranged from data collection (e.g., missing historical data, too few meters) to organizational difficulties (e.g., cooperation between a large number of departments, little political support) to benefit uncertainty (i.e., possible energy cost savings are seen as negligible). Organizational difficulties such as limited cross-departmental cooperation  and getting energy-related projects on the political agenda  were identified as major barriers in the scientific literature on municipal energy and climate policy.
- Several questions and items were aimed at assessing the benefits and impacts of the energy management system as energy managers see them. Items referred to, for example, the monitoring of energy data before the establishment of the EnMS, whether the EnMS motivated the municipality to set more ambitious energy-saving targets, and whether the EnMS led to greater consideration of the role of energy efficiency in making procurement decisions. Respondents were asked to state their level of approval on a five-point scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” Furthermore, respondents also estimated whether and how the EnMS changed the probability of certain events happening on a five-point scale from “much lower” to “much higher.” Here we named, for example, regular training on energy conservation behavior for employees. Possible benefits named in the survey reflected that energy management should not only address technologies, but also administrative and staff-related practices . Additional items for this question were the prioritization of investments based on their energy-saving potential and a higher budget for energy efficiency. A study of Swiss companies with high energy consumption showed that better energy management made it more likely that a company would approve an investment in energy efficiency . The importance of adequate resources for energy efficiency retrofits of public buildings was emphasized in the relevant scientific literature .
- In addition, we queried data on the size of the team responsible for the EnMS and some other factual statements, for example, whether the EnMS had already been certified and regarding the energy performance improvement period.
2.3. Survey among Consultants
- the state of the energy management before the process to establish an EnMS began and how surprising the results of the energy review were;
- how hard it was to overcome the challenges in the consultants’ view;
- whether they believed the municipality would have introduced the EnMS without their support;
- the scope and boundaries the municipalities chose for their EnMS;
- the ambition of the municipalities’ energy targets and action plan;
- the likelihood of attaining the targets for the energy performance period; and
- the likelihood that the municipality would commission the recertification audit.
3.1. Results of EnMS Establishment
3.2. Four Cases from France, Italy, Latvia, and Spain
3.3. Results of the Survey among Energy Managers
3.4. Results of the Survey among Consultants
- Collecting and analyzing data can be a challenging task, especially for small municipalities;
- Energy consumption is often seen in terms of costs. Observed cost increases can be a stronger incentive for action than potential, but notional, cost reductions; and
- Interdepartmental cooperation is a problem that becomes especially pertinent if more than one department is responsible for activities within the scope of the EnMS.
4. Discussion and Conclusions
- The impetus given by the study was a crucial motivator for municipalities to establish an energy management system. This support can be institutionalized by setting up an agency that supports municipalities in establishing energy management with money and expertise. A driver for wider application and implementation of EnMS in local authorities would be the introduction of mandatory energy management in national and regional legislation.
- Once an EnMS is up and running, a large majority of the municipalities participating in our study planned to keep it. This means that such an agency’s short-term support can have long-term impacts in many cases.
- When helping municipalities to set up an energy management system, it was crucial to involve all departments that managed activities consuming considerable amounts of energy (e.g., every building owned by the municipality, street lighting, the fleet of vehicles, etc.). Achieving functional interdepartmental cooperation was among the hardest challenges in our study, corroborating results from earlier studies for other areas of local energy and climate policy .
- A strong commitment by decision-makers, including local politicians, is needed to facilitate interdepartmental cooperation. Support programs for EnMS introduction should incentivize this commitment from administrative heads and local politicians through its terms and conditions.
- Human resources can be a limiting factor, especially for smaller municipalities. Therefore, a program supporting municipalities in establishing EnMS should foresee resources for training. It was also helpful to not task a single person with working on the EnMS, but rather to form an energy team. This confirms results from research on companies using EnMS that also stressed the role of energy managers and training .
- Defining the boundaries and scope of the energy management system is a topic that should be addressed early on. Some of the municipalities in our study were very cautious and chose very narrow boundaries and scope.
- Adequate tools that support collecting, analyzing, and presenting data can greatly reduce the administrative burden of the EnMS. Within our study, municipalities had access to an online energy monitoring platform, which 62% of the municipalities used. A program for EnMS introduction should entail access to a tool that supports data collection and analysis.
- To attain energy-saving targets, the energy-use behavior of employees cannot be neglected. The survey among energy managers showed that motivating colleagues to change their behavior was challenging in some cases. Gamifying this by holding an energy-saving competition may be a helpful approach in this case .
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
- Palermo, V.; Bertoldi, P.; Apostolou, M.; Kona, A.; Rivas, S. Assessment of Climate Change Mitigation Policies in 315 Cities in the Covenant of Mayors Initiative. Sustain. Cities Soc. 2020, 60, 102258. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Bertoldi, P.; Rivas Cavete, S.; Kona, A.; Hernandez Gonzalez, Y.; Marinho Ferreira Barbosa, P.; Palermo, V.; Baldi, M.; Lo Vullo, E.; Muntean, M. Covenant of Mayors: 2019 Assessment; EUR—Scientific and Technical Research Reports; Publications Office of the European Union: Luxembourg, 2020. [Google Scholar]
- International Organization for Standardization Energy Management Systems. Requirements with Guidance for Use; (ISO Standard No. 50001:2018); ISO: Vernier, Switzerland, 2018. [Google Scholar]
- Jovanović, B.; Filipović, J. ISO 50001 Standard-Based Energy Management Maturity Model—Proposal and Validation in Industry. J. Clean. Prod. 2016, 112, 2744–2755. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Jekabsone, A.; Kamenders, A.; Rosa, M. Implementation of Certified Energy Management System in Municipality. Case Study. Environ. Clim. Technol. 2020, 24, 41–56. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- International Organization for Standardization. ISO Survey 2019. Available online: https://www.iso.org/the-iso-survey.html (accessed on 24 March 2021).
- Kanneganti, H.; Gopalakrishnan, B.; Crowe, E.; Al-Shebeeb, O.; Yelamanchi, T.; Nimbarte, A.; Currie, K.; Abolhassani, A. Specification of Energy Assessment Methodologies to Satisfy ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard. Sustain. Energy Technol. Assess. 2017, 23, 121–135. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Hasan, A.S.M.M.; Trianni, A. A Review of Energy Management Assessment Models for Industrial Energy Efficiency. Energies 2020, 13, 5713. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Kulovesi, K.; Oberthür, S. Assessing the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework: Incremental Change toward Radical Transformation? Rev. Eur. Comp. Int. Environ. Law 2020, 29, 151–166. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- McKane, A.; Therkelsen, P.; Scodel, A.; Rao, P.; Aghajanzadeh, A.; Hirzel, S.; Zhang, R.; Prem, R.; Fossa, A.; Lazarevska, A.M.; et al. Predicting the Quantifiable Impacts of ISO 50001 on Climate Change Mitigation. Energy Policy 2017, 107, 278–288. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Tutak, M.; Brodny, J.; Siwiec, D.; Ulewicz, R.; Bindzár, P. Studying the Level of Sustainable Energy Development of the European Union Countries and Their Similarity Based on the Economic and Demographic Potential. Energies 2020, 13, 6643. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Simionescu, M.; Păuna, C.B.; Diaconescu, T. Renewable Energy and Economic Performance in the Context of the European Green Deal. Energies 2020, 13, 6440. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- António da Silva Gonçalves, V.; Mil-Homens dos Santos, F.J. Energy Management System ISO 50001:2011 and Energy Management for Sustainable Development. Energy Policy 2019, 133, 110868. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Sousa Lira, J.M.; Salgado, E.G.; Beijo, L.A. Which Factors Does the Diffusion of ISO 50001 in Different Regions of the World Is Influenced? J. Clean. Prod. 2019, 226, 759–767. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Rampasso, I.S.; Melo Filho, G.P.; Anholon, R.; de Araujo, R.A.; Alves Lima, G.B.; Perez Zotes, L.; Leal Filho, W. Challenges Presented in the Implementation of Sustainable Energy Management via ISO 50001:2011. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6321. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Wulandari, M.; Laskurain, I.; Casadesús Fa, M.; Heras-Saizarbitoria, I. Early Adoption of ISO 50001 Standard: An Empirical Study. In Sustainable Operations Management. Advances in Strategy and Methodology; Chiarini, A., Ed.; Measuring Operations Performance; Springer: Cham, Germany, 2015; pp. 183–202. ISBN 978-3-319-14001-8. [Google Scholar]
- Marimon, F.; Casadesús, M. Reasons to Adopt ISO 50001 Energy Management System. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1740. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Karcher, P.; Jochem, R. Success Factors and Organizational Approaches for the Implementation of Energy Management Systems According to ISO 50001. TQM J. 2015, 27, 361–381. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Fiedler, T.; Mircea, P.-M. Energy Management Systems According to the ISO 50001 Standard—Challenges and Benefits. In Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Applied and Theoretical Electricity (ICATE), Craiova, Romania, 25–27 October 2012; pp. 1–4. [Google Scholar]
- de Sousa Jabbour, A.B.L.; Verdério Júnior, S.A.; Jabbour, C.J.C.; Leal Filho, W.; Campos, L.S.; De Castro, R. Toward Greener Supply Chains: Is There a Role for the New ISO 50001 Approach to Energy and Carbon Management? Energy Effic. 2017, 10, 777–785. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Dzene, I.; Polikarpova, I.; Zogla, L.; Rosa, M. Application of ISO 50001 for Implementation of Sustainable Energy Action Plans. Energy Procedia 2015, 72, 111–118. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Beihmanis, K.; Rosa, M. Energy Management System Implementation in Latvian Municipalities: From Theory to Practice. Energy Procedia 2016, 95, 66–70. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Kamenders, A.; Rosa, M.; Kass, K. Low Carbon Municipalities. The Impact of Energy Management on Climate Mitigation at Local Scale. Energy Procedia 2017, 128, 172–178. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Trianni, A.; Cagno, E.; Bertolotti, M.; Thollander, P.; Andersson, E. Energy Management: A Practice-Based Assessment Model. Appl. Energy 2019, 235, 1614–1636. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Coelho, S.; Russo, M.; Oliveira, R.; Monteiro, A.; Lopes, M.; Borrego, C. Sustainable Energy Action Plans at City Level: A Portuguese Experience and Perception. J. Clean. Prod. 2018, 176, 1223–1230. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Annunziata, E.; Rizzi, F.; Frey, M. Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings: The Role of Local Energy Audit Programmes. Energy Policy 2014, 69, 364–373. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Petersen, J.-P. The Application of Municipal Renewable Energy Policies at Community Level in Denmark: A Taxonomy of Implementation Challenges. Sustain. Cities Soc. 2018, 38, 205–218. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Krog, L. How Municipalities Act under the New Paradigm for Energy Planning. Sustain. Cities Soc. 2019, 47, 101511. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Cooremans, C.; Schönenberger, A. Energy Management: A Key Driver of Energy-Efficiency Investment? J. Clean. Prod. 2019, 230, 264–275. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Wickham, H.; Averick, M.; Bryan, J.; Chang, W.; McGowan, L.D.; François, R.; Grolemund, G.; Hayes, A.; Henry, L.; Hester, J.; et al. Welcome to the Tidyverse. J. Open Source Softw. 2019, 4, 1686. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Goretzko, D.; Pham, T.T.H.; Bühner, M. Exploratory Factor Analysis: Current Use, Methodological Developments and Recommendations for Good Practice. Curr. Psychol. 2019. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Kaselofsky, J.; Schüle, R.; Rošā, M.; Prodaņuks, T.; Jekabsone, A.; Vadovics, E.; Vadovics, K.; Heinel, T. Top Energy Saver of the Year: Results of an Energy Saving Competition in Public Buildings. Environ. Clim. Technol. 2020, 24, 278–293. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
|1||Not important||Not at all||Strongly disagree||Much lower|
|3||Moderately important||Moderately||Undecided||About the same|
|5||Very important||Extremely||Strongly agree||Much higher|
|Category||Subcategory||Examples of Actions||Share|
|Educational measures||Raising awareness and education||Trainings, energy saving competition, information campaigns, motivational workshops||15%|
|Technical measures||Energy efficient |
|Replacement of inefficient appliances||55%|
|Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)||Replacing air conditioning (AC) or ventilation system, installation of thermostatic valves, building automation|
|Lighting||Replacing incandescent light bulbs with light-emitting|
refurbishment/replacement of street light control systems
|Refurbishment of buildings||Refurbishment of doors and windows, insulation, green roofs|
|Renewable energy||Installation of solar panels|
|Organizational measures||Monitoring and |
control of energy consumption
|Operational procedures, use of energy monitoring platform, analysis of energy-use patterns||30%|
|Scope and Boundaries|
|Municipality||Energy Team Members||Public Buildings||Street Lighting||Municipal Fleet||Annual Energy Consumption within Scope |
|Reduction of Energy Consumption Year 1 (MWh/a)|
|Saldus, Latvia||6||90||Included||180 vehicles||12,970||779|
|Montauban, France||10||3||Partly included||-||1600||263|
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Kaselofsky, J.; Rošā, M.; Jekabsone, A.; Favre, S.; Loustalot, G.; Toma, M.; Delgado Marín, J.P.; Moreno Nicolás, M.; Cosenza, E. Getting Municipal Energy Management Systems ISO 50001 Certified: A Study with 28 European Municipalities. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3638. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073638
Kaselofsky J, Rošā M, Jekabsone A, Favre S, Loustalot G, Toma M, Delgado Marín JP, Moreno Nicolás M, Cosenza E. Getting Municipal Energy Management Systems ISO 50001 Certified: A Study with 28 European Municipalities. Sustainability. 2021; 13(7):3638. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073638Chicago/Turabian Style
Kaselofsky, Jan, Marika Rošā, Anda Jekabsone, Solenne Favre, Gabriel Loustalot, Michaël Toma, Jose Pablo Delgado Marín, Manuel Moreno Nicolás, and Emanuele Cosenza. 2021. "Getting Municipal Energy Management Systems ISO 50001 Certified: A Study with 28 European Municipalities" Sustainability 13, no. 7: 3638. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073638