In 2012 the EU enacted the Energy Efficiency Directive. This required all member states (MS) to (among other things) legislate for the introduction of mandatory High Quality Energy Audits for all non-SMEs. It also required an MS to introduce a register of Energy Auditors
The relevant EU directive is the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012 and in particular Article 8. In Ireland SI426:2014 was passed into law in April. EN16247 Parts 1-5 is the standard that will essentially define how the audit is undertaken and who can undertake the audit.
Non-SME companies are now required to carry out an independent High Quality Energy Audit before December 5th, 2015 (and every 4 years thereafter). The EU have defined non-SME to mean a business with >250 employees and/or >€50m turnover. All other organisations can choose to undertake the audit if they so desire (and it would be a positive and proactive approach to take for an SME). If the business has ISO50001 certification then it can use it’s Energy Management System as the driver for dealing with the requirements of the directive.
The audit must be independent and carried out by a registered Energy Auditor. In order to regulate this, each member state must maintain a register of Energy Auditors. The body selected to maintain the register in Ireland is the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). SEAI will determine the qualifications and competence that will be accepted for Registered Energy Auditors in Ireland.
EN16247 Parts 1-4 details what is required for a High Quality Energy Audit in different business sectors. EN16247 Part 5 (still at DRAFT stage but due for publication in early 2015) details the competence requirements for a Registered Energy Auditor.