European Standards for Energy Audits: helping companies to comply with requirements of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive 

Brussels, 9 July 2015 - CEN and CENELEC have published a series of European Standards that set out requirements and provide guidance on how to carry out energy audits. The EN 16247 series of standards is intended to help companies throughout Europe comply with the requirements of the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU).

The Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) sets out a series of measures to help the EU reach its targets for reducing energy consumption by ensuring a more efficient use of energy at all stages of the energy chain. According to this Directive (Article 8), each Member State should ensure that large companies undergo energy audits carried out by qualified and/or accredited experts or implemented and supervised by independent authorities. Every large company (with more than 250 employees) should undergo an energy audit by 5 December 2015 and then on a regular basis (at least once every four years). Furthermore, Member States must develop programmes to encourage smaller companies (SMEs) to undergo energy audits and implement the recommendations from these audits.

The European Standards of the EN 16247 series were developed by a Joint Working Group of CEN and CENELEC (CEN/CLC JWG 1 'Energy Audits'), which included experts from business and industry, public authorities and other stakeholders, in accordance with an official standardization request (M/479) from the European Commission. The first standard in the series (EN 16247-1), specifying the general requirements, common methodology and deliverables for energy audits, was adopted by CEN and CENELEC in June 2012. Three further standards, addressing the specific requirements, methodology and deliverables of energy audits in relation to buildings (EN 16247-2), processes (EN 16247-3) and transport (EN 16247-4), were adopted by CEN and CENELEC in May 2014.

The fifth and final standard in the series (EN 16247-5), which relates to the competences of energy auditors and will support the development of national qualification schemes for energy auditors, was approved by CEN and CENELEC in March 2015. All of the European Standards in the EN 16247 series are published and distributed by the National Members of CEN and CENELEC [please see the CEN website and the CENELEC website].

Another way that companies can reduce their energy consumption and comply with the requirements of the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) is by implementing an Energy Management System (in line with the European/International Standard EN ISO 50001:2011) or an Environmental Management System (in line with the European/International Standard EN ISO 14001:2004). The Directive (Article 8) states that if a company is implementing an Energy or Environmental Management System, which has been "certified by an independent body according to the relevant European or International Standards", and which also includes an energy audit that respects the criteria set out in the Directive (Annex VI), then the company is not required to undergo a separate energy audit.

Martin FRY, Chairman of CEN and CENELEC’s Joint Working Group on 'Energy Audits', says: "Energy audits have been part of the energy management process for many years. However, one of the challenges has been that audits could be carried out in different ways - from a quick walk around to a very detailed investment-based study. Now that the Energy Efficiency Directive requires large companies to undergo energy audits, the EN 16247 series of European Standards will be very useful in providing a clear framework for implementing these audits.  On a similar basis, the international standard for Energy Management Systems (EN ISO 50001) can also help companies to comply with the Directive."

Bernard GINDROZ, Chairman of the CEN-CENELEC Sector Forum Energy Management adds: "The Energy Union package launched by the European Commission in February has reinforced the role of energy efficiency in reaching the EU’s ambitious climate and energy goals. Meeting the agreed targets will be a major challenge for companies, consumers and public authorities. Standardization contributes to reaching these objectives by promoting best practices, supporting the introduction of new technologies, and providing companies, organizations and authorities with the tools they need to comply with relevant legislation, develop sound policies and improve energy efficiency."


For more information about European Standardization activities in the field of Energy Management, please see the CEN-CENELEC website.

All European Standards that have been adopted by CEN and CENELEC (including the international standards EN ISO 50001 and EN ISO 14001) are published and distributed by the National Members of CEN and the National Members of CENELEC.

The European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 14 November 2012. For more information see the European Commission (Energy) website.


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