AIB supports energy attribute tracking systems for all energy carriers and a variety of purposes. An EECS certificate identifies the energy carrier and the purpose for which it is issued. They may be issued under a legislative scheme, like guarantees of origin (GOs) and support certificates, or under a non-governmental certificate scheme (NGC). Where supported by the issuing body, an EECS Certificate enables a transparent bridge to additional criteria qualified under an Independent Criteria Scheme.
The AIB’s European Energy Certificate System – EECS – facilitates all types of energy tracking certificate in a harmonised manner. This includes certificates introduced by legislation at a national or European level, whether used as evidence of fuel source or production technology, and whether for purposes of providing evidence to consumers or government or for receiving any kind of public support.
The main certificate product that is currently being transferred between the members of the AIB is the Guarantee of Origin. This implies Guarantees of Origin for renewable source electricity and cogeneration, and disclosure certificates for fossil and nuclear source electricity, as required by national legislation. Although they entailed the original certificate product supported in AIB, RECS certificates are no longer issued, and their transfer and cancellation was supported only until the end of 2015.
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 mainly on electrical energy for a long time. However, with the introduction of the EECS Gas Scheme in 2019 (after a decade during which this was under development), it diversifies to other energie carriers. For this reason, the mission statement of AIB, since many years addresses "international energy certificate schemes".
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 (2018/2001/EC , and its predecessors, 2009/28/EC 2001/77/EC – the RES Directive – which requires EU Member States to implement guarantee the origin of renewable energy
- The Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EC, as updated by 2018/2002, 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 (HEC)
- The Internal Electricity Markets (IEM) Directive (2019/944, and its predecessors, 2009/72/EC, 2003/54/EC and 1996/92/EC) , which liberalised the electricity markets of EU Member States, and created the framework for a common market for electricity. - Disclosure rules for electricity suppliers are given in annex 1.5.
These introduce renewable energy and cogeneration guarantees of origin, and link them to energy source disclosure.