Santo Domingo. The Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) on December 21 became the first institution in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean to obtain international certification to the ISO 50001:2018 standard, as a sign of its efforts for continuous improvement in energy management and the adoption of measures that contribute to curbing climate change.
ISO 50001 is a voluntary international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to establish a framework on energy performance that promotes the use of practices and technologies that limit the emission of greenhouse gases; and 50001:2018 is about optimizing energy efficiency in public and private organizations.
It should be noted that ISO 50001 certification incorporates, for society as a whole, the dimension of leading by example in strategic sectors of the national economy and enhances the willingness to comply with a series of regulatory requirements that favor sustainability.
Among its derivatives is the promotion of an organizational culture aware of the responsible and efficient use of energy. It supports the acquisition of designs, products and services that promote or support energy efficiency criteria.
This standard establishes criteria for processes, including the efficient operation and maintenance of energy-using facilities, equipment and systems that without operational control could generate a significant deviation from the institution’s energy performance.
The implementation of this Energy Management System at MEM-RD will allow for a reduction in energy consumption and efficient energy management.
Upon receiving the certification from the representative of AENOR, Ariel Espejo, Minister Antonio Almonte said that this recognition is a satisfaction for the Ministry he heads, as it demonstrates the commitment of this institution with the rational use, efficiency and savings of a cross-cutting service in society such as electricity.
«The delivery of this certificate is part of the milestones we must meet to become the Ministry of Energy and Mines to which we all aspire; when we say all, we mean all Dominicans. In order to have the progress we aspire to, we have had difficulties, but we are also having progress that is expressed in this certificate and that says that we are paying attention to issues that are transcendental to strengthen the image of the MEM,» he said.
On his side, the Vice-Minister of Energy Saving and Efficiency, Alfonso Rodríguez, said that it was not possible to regulate, legislate, demand or call for the rational and efficient use of energy without the Ministry of Energy and Mines setting the example of self-imposing an international standard to improve its own energy management.
«We are leading by example by receiving the ISO 50001 international certification, becoming the only entity in the country and the Caribbean to do so,» he said.
He explained that energy management systems based on the ISO 50001 standard are based on three pillars of sustainable development: economic (increasing competitiveness), social (encouraging responsible energy consumption) and environmental (contributing to the decarbonization of the economy).
Rodriguez permanently headed, during the years 2021 and 2022, a MEM technical team that led the work to implement an «Energy Management System» (SGEn) that guarantees a rational and responsible use of energy at the institution’s headquarters, as instructed by Minister Almonte.
The support of the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ), under the framework of two projects, was essential for the successful completion of this certification process: Energy Transition and the Technical Assistance Program for Renewable Energy Development (TAPSEC).
The German ambassador, Maike Friedrichsen, said that her country has taken on the challenges for the energy transition and is working together with the Dominican Government to promote energy efficiency and achieve the goal that the electricity matrix of this nation is composed of 30% renewable energy.
«With this certification, the Dominican Republic, through its Ministry of Energy and Mines, assumes the commitment to promote greater energy savings, moving towards a more just and democratic energy transition. Please know that with Germany you will always have a helping hand to achieve these goals,» he emphasized.
The delivery of the parchment was made during a ceremony led by Minister Almonte and Deputy Minister Alfonso Rodríguez, which was attended by the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Maike Friedrichsen; the director of the Energy Transition Project of the German Agency for Cooperation and Development (GIZ), Clemens Findeisen, and Ariel Espejo, local director of the firm AENOR, which audited and supervised the strict compliance with the requirements.
Also present were Max Puig, vice-president of the National Council for Climate Change; Edward Veras, president of the National Energy Commission; Manuel López San Pablo, from the Coordinating Body; Willy Villa, director of Energy Saving and Efficiency Policies of MEM, and representatives of companies in the energy sector, among others.