ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard

The ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard is an internationally recognized voluntary standard that gives organizations a structured framework to manage energy.

Organizations that have implemented ISO 50001 have reduced energy costs and increased competitiveness while minimizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental impacts. For example, Canadian industrial companies that have implemented ISO 50001 have achieved an average cumulative energy performance improvement of nearly 10% within the first two years.Footnote 1 This has resulted in up to $2 million in annual energy cost savings for large Canadian companies.Footnote 2

Read more about ISO 50001.

Financial assistance to help implement ISO 50001

To help implement ISO 50001 in industrial, commercial and institutional facilities, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) provides cost-shared financial assistance of up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $40,000 per facility.

The maximum contribution to an organization or group of affiliates is $200,000 per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).

An approved project may proceed over multiple years but the total level of NRCan funding will not exceed $200,000 per project.

For a multi-facility project proposal, the parent organization is responsible for allocating NRCan’s proposed contribution among qualifying facilities up to the maximum allowable combined funding limit.

NRCan reviews project proposals on a first-come, first-served basis. As part of an approval decision, NRCan may consider the distribution of funding across regions and sectors, previous NRCan contributions to applicants, and the project’s environmental impact.

This financial assistance can be combined with other funding sources. When it is, NRCan may adjust its level of funding so that the combined level of financial assistance from all public sources does not exceed 75% of total eligible project costs.

Industrial facilities located in British Columbia may be eligible for additional cost-shared assistance from the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines.

Eligibility for financial assistance

To be eligible for NRCan’s financial assistance for ISO 50001 implementation projects, industrial facilities must be registered as CIPEC Leaders, and commercial and institutional buildings must be registered with the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool. You must have your proposal accepted by NRCan before any work begins.

Eligible costs

  • salaries of internal employees for work specific to the energy management system (EnMS)
  • professional, scientific and technical fees specific to the EnMS
  • fees for data collection, benchmarking, monitoring and analysis services
  • purchase of instrumentation software and metering equipment (other capital costs are ineligible)
  • fees associated with obtaining ISO 50001 certification (re-certification or fees associated with re-certification are ineligible)
  • fees associated with training on the EnMS

Ineligible costs

  • fees for tasks started before NRCan’s approval and execution of a Contribution Agreement
  • energy retrofits
  • purchase and installation of equipment and systems (with the exception of the purchase of instrumentation software and metering equipment)
  • capital projects
  • ISO 50001 re-certification or fees associated with re-certification

Financial assistance process

Eligible projects will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible for financial assistance, an organization must follow this process:

  1. Register as a CIPEC Leader (for industrial facilities) or with the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool (for commercial and institutional buildings).
  2. Email NRCan to request a project proposal template.
  3. Write your proposal following the instructions in the template.
  4. Submit your proposal to NRCan for review and acceptance before you begin your project. If we accept it, we will contact you to establish a Contribution Agreement. Work must not start until an agreement is reached.
  5. Arrange to implement the project and pay all related costs when the work has been completed.
  6. Submit a reimbursement claim and final report to NRCan for review and approval.
  7. After your claim is approved, NRCan will issue a reimbursement through direct deposit to your financial institution.

About ISO 50001

ISO 50001 integrates energy efficiency into management practices to increase awareness of energy use, reinforce good energy management behaviours and make better use of existing energy-consuming assets and processes. It also helps organizations to evaluate and prioritize the implementation of new energy-efficient technologies. Access case studies and videos on ISO 50001.

The ISO 50001 standard has elements in common with all ISO management systems standards. That makes it compatible with ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management). The standard is also compatible with other performance improvement approaches and energy management systems (Superior Energy Performance, Lean, Theory of Constraints, Six Sigma, 5S, etc.).

The published ISO 50001 standard requires an organization to

  • conduct an energy review (analyze energy data, identify areas of significant energy use and identify areas for energy performance improvement)
  • establish an energy baseline
  • establish energy objectives and targets that are measurable and have timelines for achievement
  • establish an action plan to achieve energy objectives and targets
  • implement the action plan
  • check performance
  • monitor, document and report all the above

To get the complete 2018 version of the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard, visit the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) website.

See which facilities in Canada are ISO 50001 certified.

Alphabetical list of ISO 50001 certified organizations
Organization Number of facilities/buildings Date of most recent certification
3M Canada Company 6 22-07-2016
Alectra Inc. 4 24-01-2017
Broan-Nutone Canada Inc. 1 20-12-2012
Catalyst Paper 1 07-01-2015
CNH Canada LLC 2 12-02-2018
CpK Interior Products Inc. 1 26-11-2014
FCA Canada Inc. 3 04-12-2014
Ferrero Canada Ltd. 1 26-07-2016
Global Wood Concepts Ltd. 1 06-09-2016
Hilton Hotels and Resorts (Canada) 125 26-09-2017
IBM Canada Ltd. 11 26-06-2015
Lincoln Electric Company of Canada LP 1 24-04-2016
New Gold Inc. 1 30-03-2017
Schneider Electric Canada Inc. 1 26-11-2014
St. Marys Cement Inc. (Canada) 1 13-11-2017
Veriform Inc. 1 01-05-2016
Last update: May 7, 2018

For more information or to add a facility to the list, send an email to Natural Resources Canada.

Tools and resources to support implementation of energy management systems

ISO 50001 uses Plan-Do-Check-Act

ISO 50001 is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) continual improvement framework. PDCA incorporates energy management into an organization’s everyday practices.

The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle as a management system for energy
Text version

The managerial and technical aspects of this cycle are described as follows:


Plan: Policy goals/targets; Resources
Do: Training; Communication; Control equipment systems & processes
Check: Corrective/preventive action; Internal audits
Act: Management review


Plan: Energy data management; Assessments
Do: Energy purchasing; Design; Projects; Verification
Check: Monitoring; Measurement
Act: System performance


Copyright © 2009 by Georgia Tech Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

The Plan phase may include

  • assembling your team and adopting an employee awareness plan
  • writing an implementation plan
  • benchmarking your organization’s energy management data for future reference
Tools that will help

The Do phase may include

  • training your employees in how to monitor energy use and spot energy saving opportunities
  • communicating with employees clearly and frequently to ensure your program remains sustainable
  • making energy visible at various levels of your organization by using posters, presentations and checklists, and producing fact sheets
  • paying close attention to your energy audit
Tools that will help

The Check phase may include

  • carrying out corrective and preventive actions
  • doing internal audits
  • undertaking careful measuring and monitoring
Tools that will help

The Act phase may include

  • taking action on your system’s performance based on information you have gathered
  • taking action to review your management approach based on information you have gathered
Tools that will help

Find a registrar and get ISO 50001 certified

If your organization is considering a CAN/CSA-ISO 50001 implementation and your ISO registrar is not accredited to certify organizations in their implementation of the international standard, ISO 50001 – Energy Management Systems, the Standards Council of Canada offers a program to upgrade the registrar’s accreditation.

ISO 50001 global leadership

According to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Energy Management Working Group, energy management systems have the potential to save up to 30% of the total energy use in industry and up to 40% in commercial buildings. Implementing ISO 50001 globally could cumulatively cut energy use by 62 exajoules by 2030 – saving more than $600 billion in energy costs and avoiding 6,500 megatonnes of CO2 emissions (equal to taking 215 million passenger vehicles off the road). 

The CEM Energy Management Leadership Awards is an annual global leadership and case study awards program that recognizes those who are transforming their organizations with ISO 50001. Their energy management achievements include finding ways to save energy, reduce costs, and share experiences to inspire others to implement the standard.

The CEM encourages any organization with a current ISO 50001 certificate issued by an accredited certification body to participate.

The ENERGY STAR and PORTFOLIO MANAGER names and the ENERGY STAR symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada.