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Paris Workshop Promotes International Standards for Energy Efficiency

New York, Apr 09, 2009

According to estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA), world energy demand will increase by 45% between now and 2030 unless remedial actions are taken. Technical standards that define, measure, and evaluate energy efficiency must form the basis of all private and public sector actions to reduce energy usage. But without consistently applied, globally relevant metrics in place, policy makers and organizations worldwide face challenges in the implementation of energy efficient practices.

ISO PC 242, Energy management

The ISO Project Committee (PC) 242, Energy management, was an integral part of the Paris workshop. Referenced by ISO Secretary-General Robert Steele in his opening remarks, the PC had several members moderating and speaking at workshop panels.

Formed in spring 2008, this ISO project committee had its genesis in a joint ANSI-Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT) proposal, which was initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), for a field of technical activity on the subject of energy management systems standards.

ISO PC 242 has a four-country leadership structure, where the U.S. holds the chairmanship and China holds the vice-chairmanship. The U.S. and Brazil jointly hold the secretariat of the full PC, and the United Kingdom performs secretariat duties at the working group level. This unique leadership structure not only provides a geographic balance, but engages developed and developing economies in establishing a strategic direction for the committee.

The ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator is the Georgia Tech Energy & Environmental Management Center.

The project committee aims to have the standard – known as ISO 50001 – ready for publication by the end of 2010. The next meeting of PC 242 will take place in London in November 2009.

In an effort to increase international cooperation in this critical area and define a path forward, IEA teamed with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to host a workshop to advance the development of international standards for energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. Held March 16-17, 2009, in Paris, the workshop brought together nearly 300 experts from the public and private sectors.

“Today's trends in world energy demand give the sense of urgency. We need to act now with available solutions, which need to be applied and International Standards are part of the solution,” explained Rob Steele, ISO Secretary-General.

The workshop provided an opportunity for interested stakeholders to exchange relevant information and develop an overview of next steps to advance standards for energy efficiency. Presentations and discussion panels addressed requirements and challenges of energy efficiency standardization work in a variety of fields, including industrial systems, power generation, buildings, and electrical and electronic appliances.

Several recommendations came out of the workshop:

  • Highlight and promote the complementary relationship between public policies and technical standards, communicating clearly that standards provide technical solutions

  • Encourage participation by all stakeholders with relevant interests in promoting energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions (particularly representatives of public authorities and consumers) from the earliest stages in the standards development process

  • Improve coordination and optimize involvement of experts in ongoing standardization work at the sectoral, national, regional, and international levels, ensuring exchange of information and promoting the use of already existing standards

  • Adjust standardization processes and deliverables to be more adaptive in addressing fast-moving technologies and evolving usage contexts of products and services

Commenting on the event, IEC General Secretary & CEO Aharon Amit said, “We need to be able to generate, transmit, and distribute more electricity with reduced impact. And we need to use electricity more intelligently. While the IEC continues to issue the standards for existing technologies, including energy efficiency for industrial and domestic uses, it is also working on new areas including ultra high voltage transmission and integrated smart grids, while continuing to maximize the potential from renewable energies.”

For more information, including presentations and further recommendations of the workshop, visit the ISO page Hot Topics: Energy.

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