Germany has over nine times the number of sites certified to the new ISO 50001 energy management standard, compared to UK.
By the end of May 2014 Germany had secured around 47% of the world's ISO 50001 certifications. So why the difference ?
There has been widespread publicity in Germany about the benefits and, often immediate, financial savings which companies can secure from ISO 50001 that seems to have triggered considerable interest.
If Germany is using ISO 50001's step by step process to create a lean, energy efficient manufacturing base, why is the UK lagging so far behind ?
The UK has clearly failed to explain the benefits or brought ISO 50001 to the attention of manufacturers, hoteliers, retailers, distributors and other companies - so ISO 50001 is still relatively unknown amongst business leaders.
Both German and UK companies enjoy subsidies and grants for numerous energy saving measures. German companies can receive a contribution towards the cost of ISO 50001 certification - though certification is not particularly expensive.
ISO 50001 drills down into much greater detail on the way energy is used and the opportunities for energy savings, compared to the broad environmental ISO 14001 system. ISO 50001 also helps ensure true energy comparisons are made and provides guidelines to ensure real improvements in energy efficiency are achieved.
Written by some of the world's leading energy experts the ISO 50001 system is designed to enable organisations to achieve a continual improvement in energy performance. Working through the ISO 50001 system normally produces a sharp improvement and renewed interest, with invigorated staff involvement and targetted energy saving campaigns.
Hilton Worldwide recently announced they have obtained certification for 4,200 sites around the world, demonstrating the high value which they place on using ISO 50001's plan, do check and act structure.
Years ago energy was a fairly cheap commodity, whilst now much higher energy prices and the introduction of green energy taxes have raised charges so much that energy has now become a board level consideration.
Will the UK's new mandatory Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) change all this ? The ESOS Scheme requires all businesses with 250+ employees to undertake energy audits. ISO 50001 certification can provide compliance for the new ESOS Scheme, so an increasing number of UK companies and organisations are now looking to use the ISO 50001 energy management system.
We help businesses and organisations follow the ISO 50001 steps to identify and stop energy being wasted, reduce energy charges, improve processes and raise business performance levels. This includes the use of low cost and no cost solutions.
The cheapest energy is energy which is not used ! Hopefully we will soon see UK businesses significantly improving their energy efficiency through closer monitoring and more detailed examination of the many opportunities to reduce energy charges and gain a lasting, competitive edge.