Program Update and Name Change

May 2019

Jump to: Program Update I Name Change I Key Enhancements I Recognition Levels I Transition

Program Update

Transition Guidance

For organizations already certified, transition guidance is available.

ISO 50001:2018 Transition Guide: provides a section-by section comparison of the 2011 and 2018 versions of ISO 50001, summarizes each change, and suggests how energy management systems can be updated to conform with the 2018 requirements.

SEP 50001 (2019) Transition Guide: provides details on transition timing, program documents, key changes in the 2019 program, updates to professional credentials, and more.

SEP 50001 (2019) Launch Webinar: describes the SEP 50001 program changes in the 2019 version, plus provides additional details on multiple site certification opportunities and guidance for transitioning (view the recording, transcription, or slides).

DOE is committed to continually improving user experiences and benefits connected with the Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program—thus expanding its adoption and use. A core element of SEP, the ISO 50001 energy management systems standard, was updated by the International Organization for Standardization in 2018.

To streamline and better align with ISO 50001:2018, DOE has released an updated SEP program. Known as Superior Energy Performance 50001 (SEP 50001), the revised 2019 program incorporates some noteworthy changes.  

Name Change

Part of the update includes changing the program name to “SEP 50001” to convey DOE’s cohesive approach to encouraging energy management. DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, in collaboration with DOE's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and Buildings Technologies Office (BTO), supports two major programs to encourage uptake of ISO 50001:

  • 50001 Ready: Recognizes organizations that establish the foundational structure of ISO 50001, without requiring any third-party audits or certifications. Proves user-friendly, self-paced navigation through the proven principles of ISO 50001. 
  • Superior Energy Performance 50001 (SEP 50001): This program offers technical resources to help facilities implement ISO 50001 and gain SEP 50001 program certification (including ISO 50001 certification) for demonstrating energy management excellence and sustaining energy savings. Once certified, organizations can apply for DOE recognition for Silver, Gold, and Platinum performance levels. Formerly named Superior Energy Performance (SEP). The current program version for SEP 50001 is 2019, described throughout this SEP 50001 website.

This name change more clearly represents and conveys DOE’s comprehensive approach to energy management, offering various programs to encourage use of ISO 50001 in the marketplace and offering two complementary yet distinct programs to meet companies where they’re at and recognizing their efforts and achievements.

Key Enhancements

DOE’s revised SEP 50001 (2019) program reduces costs and facilitates implementation across sectors. Key enhancements include:

  • Offers multiple-site certification streamlined with 1) multi-site certification with sampling for EnMS and energy performance improvement, and 2) multiple sites within close geographic proximity certified as single site
  • Uses single, reduced energy performance improvement (aligned with ISO 50001:2018, greater than zero) to level the playing field, whether you’re just getting started or have a mature energy efficiency program
  • Allows use of the same or different certification bodies (CB) for the ISO 50001 and SEP 50001 audits; this helps those already certified to ISO 50001 and those who already have a CB for ISO-related audits
  • Updates qualifications for the lead auditor, now an “Energy Professionals International (EPI) ISO 50001 Lead Auditor” with additional training on the SEP 50001 program
  • Allows early recertification to verify year-on-year energy performance improvement, which may be required for third-party incentives (e.g., via utilities) or for national award programs

DOE Recognition for Silver, Gold, Platinum

In the updated 2019 program, once an organization has been certified to SEP 50001, it may use the SEP 50001 Scorecard to earn a higher recognition level (Silver, Gold, or Platinum). The streamlined scorecard continues to focus on enhanced energy management and energy performance improvement, but it is now separate from the certification program and is no longer part of the certification audit.

An organization will complete a separate Declaration that lists the scorecard points earned and the corresponding level of recognition (Silver, Gold, or Platinum); the accuracy of information on the Declaration will be validated by the signatures of a top manager within the organization and a qualified energy management professional (50001 CP EnMS who has completed the SEP 50001 Specialist Training for 2019). This change simplifies the certification process and offers organizations more flexibility in regard to the level of recognition; for example, an organization may earn a higher level of recognition during the three years that their certification is valid. See more details about how to qualify for Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

DOE will recognize organizations that become certified and those that achieve a higher level of recognition.


Organizations are encouraged to use the 2019 program version, SEP 50001 (2019). For organizations already certified, transition guidance is available: 

For information on earlier program versions, see SEP 2012 and SEP 2017.