Technology Collaboration Programme

Task 14 – White Certificates

Task 14 – White Certificates


The objective of the Task 14 work was to gather experiences gained in operating White Certificates or White Certificates-like schemes in countries where this policy is or will be practiced (as in Great Britain, France and Italy) or discussed (as in the Netherlands). To complement these schemes, knowledge gained through focused research projects was also included.

Considering that relatively little experience involving the implementation of White Certificates schemes existed, the Task experts relied on themselves and those with expertise in subjects as diverse as tradable certificates theory, demand-side management policies in the residential, transport and tertiary sectors, and the existing British, Italian and French White Certificates schemes. The Task was organized around five workshops to discuss with national practitioners and explore a set of issues – expectations, policy/principle issues, organization/practical issues, and interaction with other trading schemes and with other EE policies.

Achieved Results

The Task addressed

  • Whether – and how – a scheme involving the issuing and the trading of White Certificates (WhC) provides an effective means of attaining targets of reduction of 1) primary energy consumption (main concern) and 2) CO2 emissions (secondarily).
  • What is the most suitable format for such a scheme.
  • What implementation problems are involved, at national and extra-national levels, and how to interact with other schemes.

Areas discussed were

  • Rationale and basis: why White Certificates?
  • Advantages and risks of White Certificates
  • Attitude of national stake holders towards White Certificates policy
  • Eligible and obliged actors
  • Penalties
  • Ex-ante or ex-post procedures for evaluations of energy savings
  • Free riders effect
  • Evaluation of costs – methods used
  • Transaction vs. direct costs in White Certificates schemes
  • Role for and rules of trading
  • White Certificates vs. liberalized markets connected to energy
  • National vs. EU-wide White Certificates schemes
  • Interaction with other energy efficiency policies
  • Interaction with other trading schemes (REC, ET)


White Certificates offer a number of practical benefits for all parties involved, and proved to be a way to help align supply and demand. In practice, this approach has shown to be more dynamic, more effective and more efficient than legal obligations alone, notably in the field of Renewable Energy Commitment trading.


France, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom

Task duration:  – 2006