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Stepwise Towards Effective European energy efficiency Policy portfolios involving White Certificates (EuroWhiteCert)

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EuroWhiteCert evaluates the concept and existing applications of white certificate schemes regarding the potential to enhance energy efficiency and sustainability policies of the EU member states. The study assesses the requirements and implications of system design options, interaction with other tradable permit systems and with other energy saving policies. Furthermore, the concept of a tradable white certificate system is tested by means of a pilot test mainly focusing on the supply side. One of the outcomes of such a pilot test will be the outline of a verification and certification methodology of energy savings in conjunction with a database of implemented energy efficiency projects test-verified in the study. To test the possibility of eliciting latent demand for white certificates, a sufficiently specified regulatory environment will be elaborated and interviews with potentially interested demand parties will be conducted as well. Finally recommendations for the ecologically and economically most beneficial introduction of white certificates will be formulated on the basis of project findings


  • Package of recommendations for the conceptual and technical design of white certificates and their introduction in the ecologically and economically most beneficial way.
  • Verification and certification methodology tested by verifying and certifying at least 50 recent energy efficiency and renewable heat projects.
  • Assessment of functioning of certificate market under alternative experimental designs.
  • Estimations of the theoretical maximum size of a white certificate market and of the implied reductions of primary energy use and carbon-dioxide emissions achievable with white certificates.
  • Assessment of the overall socio-economic (net) advantages of certificate schemes compared to a situation without certificate schemes but with the same energy saving targets.

Lessons learned

  • Experiences with Market Based Instruments (MBIs) such as white certificates are mixed across the EU Member States. Furthermore, the current energy saving policy portfolio shows significant variations across member states. The variation in experience with MBIs and the diversity in present policy portfolios crucially affects the feasibility and timeframe of the introduction of a European-wide Tradable White Certificate (TWC) scheme, in case such an option is to be seriously considered.
  • Different priorities in different member states could lead to schemes that cover different sectors, measures and technologies. Case studies considered (UK, Hungary and Bulgaria) and existing White Certificate schemes in France and Italy, indicate an area of consensus on measures and technologies relating to buildings. There was less agreement in including transport and industry not covered by the EU Emission Trading System
  • Clear consensus emerged that the deemed savings approach should be favoured for the design of a European TWC scheme since it reduces costs related to monitoring and verification of energy savings achieved and provides certainty to investors through a pre-defined evaluation of the eligibility of the energy efficiency project.

Partners and coordinator

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Politecnico di Milano - Dipartimento di Energetica
Contact point: 
Nicola Labanca
Lorenzo Pagliano
0039 02 2399 3882


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In brief

01/01/2005 to 30/04/2007
Contract number: