White Certificates

What are they?

Energy-efficiency certificates (or white certificates) are an incentives system that was introduced to promote the use of energy-efficient technologies.
The system is based on the obligation for the major gas and electricity distribution firms to reach targets in the reduction of energy consumption.
These savings can be achieved through measures implemented at the end-user level and are assessed based on primary energy sources using the metric ton of oil equivalent (TOE) as the unit of measure.

Who are they for?

All businesses or individuals that execute energy-efficiency projects can benefit from these incentives. Beneficiaries can submit requests to the competent authorities through an energy service company (ESCo), and the white certificates is then issued by the national independent system operator (ISO).

What types of project can benefit from white certificates?

Projects that are eligible for the white certificate system are those that result in an optimization of energy consumption, whether they concern the buildings themselves, their systems, or a company’s production processes.

Individuals and Businesses

Individuals and businesses that execute their own energy-efficiency projects concerning their buildings, systems and/or production processes can benefit from white certificates with the help of an ESCo.

The following are examples of projects for which white certificates can be requested:

  • a household that replaces an old home water heater with a new, high-efficiency model;
  • a business that adds energy-efficient siding to the outside of their office building;
  • a manufacturer that increases the energy efficiency of their production line by replacing certain equipment.

Associations and Consortia

Professional associations and business consortia can turn to ESCos and white certificates to improve the services provided to their members and enhance their business strategies. As mediators in the process for the end customer, they can also, in certain cases, share in the overall financial benefit achieved.

Independent professionals

Independent professionals can take advantage of white certificates and grants either for projects they execute for themselves as individuals or for those for which they are involved as mediators for their customers.

Examples include:

  • a professional firm that installs energy-efficient windows in its offices can request certification through an ESCo;
  • an architectural firm that handles the refurbishment or systems upgrade for a client or a facility manager that works with tenants to improve the energy efficiency of an apartment building can apply for white certificates and share in the financial benefit.

Public bodies

Government and other public bodies that implement energy-efficiency measures can work with an ESCo to receive white certificates.

It is also possible for them to better serve the public by increasing awareness of white-certificate opportunities (which may include establishing an office dedicated to this task).

Contractors

Working in the construction industry, contractors and system installers are on the front lines of energy efficiency and can act as mediators for their customers, the end user, and can share in the overall financial benefit resulting from white certificates.

For example, a plumber who installs a geothermal system or a contractor that insulates an apartment building can offer to share in the financial benefit of white certificates with their customers.

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