UNI 11352 (E.S.Co) certification

UNI 11352 (E.S.Co) certificationReducing Energy consumption and managing Energy use efficiently are considered as inevitable today in order to contribute to human activities sustainability, because they enable us to preserve raw materials and to reduce green house effects. To achieve this, European Union and national regulations attribute to Energy Services companies (E.S.Co) a crucial role, as their activities allow client organizations to improve their own energy efficiency.
To be able to offer efficient service to their clients, E.S.Co. has to operate in compliance with the best practice of the sector, to have all the necessary skills to carry out their activities and establish their services according to specific requests. UNI CEI 11352 regulation is configured as a tool of support for National Energy policy: it has been elaborated based on requests of article 16 of Decree n. 115/2008, (Italian acknowledgement of 2006/32/CE) concerning the efficiency of final energy use and energy services. This regulation defines general requirements of organizations (E.S.Co.) which provide services that look at energy efficiency improvement on their clients’ premises. In particular, the regulation describes minimum requirements of energy efficiency services and organizational, diagnostic, planning, managerial, economic and financial skills that an E.S.Co. must have in order to offer their activities to clients.
Furthermore, it provides a check-list to confirm the E.S.Co.’s skills (Appendix A) and guidelines for client support when choosing services offered by E.S.Co. (Appendix B)

The most important parts of the certification process are:

  • Pre-audit (optional); Gap Analysis and diagnosis of current situation according to standards. The objective is to evaluate the level of compliance of processes and activities to the requirements established by regulation UNI CEI 11352. The gap analysis can be functional upon implementation of procedures and all the necessary documentation and on supervised preparation of the organization to be certified.
    Gap analysis is carried out during a dedicated audit, at the end of which the organization gets a Report which describes possible non conformities and opportunities for improvement.
  • Certification Audit, divided in two parts:
    • Step 1: initial audit (documented or on the premises);
    • Step 2: main audit (on the premises);
  • When passing through the two steps, after a technical revision independent from the whole procedure, the certificate is issued, valid for three years.
  • Maintenance and renewal audit:
    • 2 annual surveillance audits (on the premises) in order to verify the maintenance of compliance with the standard requirements;
    • Certification renewal, after 3 years.
  • UNI CEI 11352 regulation responds to market demand:
  • On demand of energy efficiency services, it assists clients to qualify the companies which offer services of energy efficiency improvement;
  • It is a tool of self diagnosis and qualification for companies which offer such services, completing the legal scheme represented by ISO 50001 and UNI CEI 11339 (regarding tasks and competences of energy managers).

Italian regulation of the sector defines important simplifications for E.S.Co. which are certified according to UNI CEI 11352; in the future it should become even easier to increase the number of these activities. This certification is becoming more and more important and it has been establishing itself as a model of reference for E.S. Co. It is important to stand out from competitors in a still non-defined market and take competitive advantage of being a “pioneer”.