Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes

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Team E3P Webmaster
European Commission - DG JRC, Directorate C - Energy, Transport and Climate
Policies and Targets
Technology and Standards
Behaviours and Social
Energy Generation and Distribution

Several EU Member States have implemented or are considering implementing energy efficiency obligation schemes (EEOSs). These schemes consist of energy saving obligations imposed on energy distributors and/or retail energy sales companies and are possibly coupled with a trading system. Different trading options can be considered: trading of energy efficiency measures resulting in certified energy savings (tradable white certificates, TWCs), trading of eligible measures without formal certification, or trading of obligations. One of the main drivers for the implementation of these schemes in the EU is currently the Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). This Article is a key pillar of the EED, which requires Member States (MS) to introduce EEOSs. Under the EEOS, energy companies must save an annual 1.5 % of their energy sales with additional ener¬gy efficiency projects. This Article also offers MS the option to introduce alternative policy measures to EEOSs, provided that these measures deliver equivalent energy savings. Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes are also known as energy saving obligations, supplier obligations, distributor obligations or utility obligations and, in the US context, energy efficiency resource standards.

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 workshops is to 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 EEOSs 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, ItalyWorkshop on White Certificates, Utility and Supplier Obligations
31 March/01 April 2009, Centre Borschette , Brussels, Belgium
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