EPA offers ENERGY STAR certification of plant and building energy performance. Such certification attests to the achievement of an actual level of energy performance for a specific facility. EPA also has useful guidance in its Guidelines for Energy Management, which instruct companies in the development of energy management programs for selected facilities.

ISO 50001 is the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) conformance standard for energy management systems, specifying a framework of requirements for the system. ISO does not certify conformance to the standard; however, organizations external to ISO receive the authority to certify conformance of organizations to ISO 50001 for their energy management systems.

A key difference between ENERGY STAR certification and certification to ISO 50001 is the result of the certification. ENERGY STAR certifies achievement of an actual level of energy performance while certification to ISO 50001 verifies an organization has specified system requirements in place.

Both ENERGY STAR and ISO 50001 focus on energy management and offer useful approaches to energy management. For firms seeking certification of an energy management system to ISO 50001, EPA recommends that the organization first apply all aspects of the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management to make the process of certification to ISO 50001 smooth.

Facilities may be certified to both ENERGY STAR and ISO 50001. Pursuing such certifications depends on the needs and objectives of an organization.