Suppliers Obligations & 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 have embarked  on implementing energy efficiency policy portfolios that consist of energy saving obligations imposed on some category of energy market operators eventually coupled with a trading system for energy efficiency measures resulting in certified energy savings (tradable white certificates, TWCs). The energy saving obligations are also known as supplier obligations, distributor obligations or utility obligations and, in the US context, energy efficiency resource standards. Obligations can be coupled with various trading options: trading of certified energy savings, trading of eligible measures without formal certification, or trading of obligations.

The JRC Energy Efficiency Team is analysing this policy instrument since 2002. The team has published several reports and organise workshops on the subject.


The purpose of the workshops is 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 workshop is provide for critical assessment of core design issues drawing upon experiences gained in the actual design, implementation and evaluation of existing European schemes, such as 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, also need to be explored so as to contrast and compare white certificate schemes with alternative policy instruments designed to deliver the same outcomes.

Past Workshops

Workshop on Experiences and Policies on Energy Saving Obligations and White Certificates
9-10 April, 2013 - Varese, Italy

European Workshop on Experiences and Policies on Energy Saving Obligations and White Certificates
27-28 January, 2011 - Varese, Italy

Workshop on White Certificates, Utility and Supplier Obligations
31 March/01 April 2009, Centre Borschette , Brussels, Belgium