The certificate issuing bodies came together at the outset, in 2000, to support the RECS Test Phase, where they developed the detail of a system which addresses the needs of international electricity certificate administration. In doing so, they created the European Energy Certificate System (EECS) and formed the AIB.
This background in renewable electricity has meant that the focus of the AIB has been on electrical energy. However, in future it may diversify into other energies. For this reason, the mission statement of AIB addresses "international energy certificate schemes".
The members of AIB now support only Guarantees of Origin for renewable source electricity and cogeneration, and disclosure certificates for fossil and nuclear source electricity, as required by national legislation. RECS certificates are no longer issued, although their transfer and cancellation will continue to be supported until the end of 2015.
The AIB’s European Energy Certificate System – EECS – facilitates all form of certificate in a harmonised manner. This includes certificates introduced by legislation at a national level, whether used as evidence of fuel source or production technology, and whether for purposes of providing evidence to consumers or government.
A significant influence on national legislation are European Union Directives, which form primary legislation for member states and those states which are bound by treaty to the EU for certain aspects of national law and practice. The relevant Directives are:
- The European Renewable Energy Sources Directive ( 2009/28/EC, and its predecessor, 2001/77/EC – the RES Directive – which requires EU Member States to implement by December 2010 systems to guarantee the origin of renewable energy
- The Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EC, and its predecessor, 2004/8/EC – which requires EU Member States to implement by 5 June 2014 systems to guarantee the origin of high-efficiency cogeneration
- The Internal Electricity Markets (IEM) Directive (2009/72/EC, and its predecessors, 1996/92/EC and 2003/54/EC, which liberalised the electricity markets of EU Member States, and created the framework for a common market for electricity.
These introduce renewable energy and cogeneration guarantees of origin, and link them to energy source disclosure.