EU Science Hub

Suppliers Obligations and White Certificates


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With the increasing importance of establishing long-term synergies between end-use energy efficiency and energy market opening, a number of EU member states are implementing energy efficiency policy portfolios that consist of energy saving obligations imposed on some category of energy market operators, in some cases coupled with a trading system for energy efficiency measures resulting in certified energy savings (tradable white certificates, TWCs). The JRC is providing scientific assessment of these policy instruments.

The JRC organises annual workshops to provide a forum for policy makers and stakeholders to review and discuss outcomes and results of existing energy saving obligations and white certificate schemes in Europe and beyond. The main objective of the workshops is to provide critical assessment of core design issues, drawing upon experiences gained in the actual design, implementation and evaluation of existing European schemes. During the workshops,  experts analyse sectoral coverage of the schemes, category of obliged parties (suppliers or distributors), importance of trading and market set-up, cost-recovery mechanisms, and penalties for non-compliance. Furthermore, key issues such as cost effectiveness of energy savings delivered by these schemes, including the cost of implementation, are also explored so as to contrast and compare white certificate schemes with alternative policy instruments designed to deliver the same outcomes.