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Energy supplier obligations and white certificate schemes: Comparative analysis of experiences in the European Union


Author Info

  • Bertoldi, Paolo
  • Rezessy, Silvia
  • Lees, Eoin
  • Baudry, Paul
  • Jeandel, Alexandre
  • Labanca, Nicola
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    A number of Member States of the European Union (EU) have introduced market-based policy portfolios based on quantified energy savings obligations on energy distributors or suppliers, possibly coupled with certification of project-based energy savings (via white certificates), and the option to trade the certificates or obligations. The paper provides an up-to-date review and analysis of results to date of white certificate schemes in the EU. In the EU supplier obligations and white certificate schemes have delivered larger savings than originally expected with obliged companies exceeding targets and, in some cases, at cost below what policy makers have anticipated. Supplier obligations foster the uptake of standardised energy efficiency actions often targeting smaller energy users (residential sector), lowering the transaction costs and contributing to market transformation. The role of certificate trading is more ambiguous. Trading can bring benefits where the target is set sufficiently high with respect to the energy-saving potential in the sectors covered. Theoretically trading may be better suited for broader systems with comprehensive coverage, but even in smaller schemes trading may reduce the transaction costs of compliance for obliged actors without sufficient expertise on end-use energy efficiency. Yet, trading increases the administrative cost ratio of energy-saving obligations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 1455-1469

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:3:p:1455-1469

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    Keywords: Energy-saving obligations White certificates;


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    1. Oikonomou, Vlasis & Rietbergen, Martijn & Patel, Martin, 2007. "An ex-ante evaluation of a White Certificates scheme in The Netherlands: A case study for the household sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1147-1163, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Alberto Gago & Michael Hanemann & Xavier Labandeira & Ana Ramos, 2012. "Climate Change, Buildings and Energy Prices," Working Papers fa04-2012, Economics for Energy.
    2. Bertoldi, Paolo & Labanca, Nicola & Rezessy, Silvia & Steuwer, Sibyl & Oikonomou, Vlasis, 2013. "Where to place the saving obligation: Energy end-users or suppliers?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 328-337.
    3. Wittmann, Nadine, 2013. "A critical microeconomic analysis of modelling the interaction of WCTS and EU ETS," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 840-843.
    4. Bertoldi, Paolo & Rezessy, Silvia & Oikonomou, Vlasis, 2013. "Rewarding energy savings rather than energy efficiency: Exploring the concept of a feed-in tariff for energy savings," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 526-535.
    5. Moser, Simon, 2013. "Poor energy poor: Energy saving obligations, distributional effects, and the malfunction of the priority group," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1003-1010.
    6. Vlasis Oikonomou & Alexandros Flamos & Niki-Artemis Spyridaki & Wytze Gaast & Ariane Dominicis & Nicolas Chung, 2012. "White certificates and domestic offset schemes: possible synergies," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 187-205, February.
    7. Tobias Fleitera & Joachim Schleich & Ployplearn Ravivanpong, 2012. "Adoption of energy-efficiency measures in SMEs - An empirical analysis based on energy audit data," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00805748, HAL.


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