NGCs - Non-Governmental Certificates
EECS Certificates can be issued for various purposes, which can relate to disclosure to end consumers or a support mechanism for energy with specific characteristics. They can exist in relation with a legislative framework, like the pan-European framework for Guarantees of Origin or a national support system, or outside a legislative framework. In the latter case, these EECS Certificates are called Non-Governmental Certificates (NGCs).
Non-Governmental Certificates (NGCs) are Independent Criteria Schemes that are operated by the AIB. They have a structure that is similar or identical to GOs, but their legal status is different: they are guaranteed by commercial law rather than national GO legislation. They enable to certify against criteria that are not defined in a legislative framework.
With the Internal Electricity Markets - IEM - Directive (2019/944 and its predecessors 2009/72/EC, 2003/54/EC and 1996/92/EC), the EU liberalised the electricity markets of its Member States, and created the framework for a common market for electricity. It requires Member States to introduce labeling schemes for electricity sold to final consumers, providing them with details of the contribution of each energy source to the overall fuel mix of the supplier, and the respective environmental impact. This requires a procedure for allocating electricity generation "attributes", such as fuel type, CO2 emissions etc. to electricity suppliers and their customers.
The RES (2018/2001/EC and its predecessors 2009/28/EC and 2001/77/EC) and Energy Efficiency (2012/27/EC) Directives create a framework for the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources (RES electricity), and of cogeneration based on useful heat demand. These Directives contain regulations on Guarantees of Origin, which serve to enable producers of RES electricity and high efficiency cogeneration to demonstrate that the electricity they sell is produced from renewable energy sources or high efficiency cogeneration. Such guarantees of origin provide an efficient and simple means of facilitating disclosure.
Certificates can also be used to disclose other forms of electricity, including that which originates from nuclear and fossil fuels. The existence of certificates for all sources of electricity allows more detailed audits to be conducted of supplied energy, enabling the consumer to be offered products using the fuels sources - and perhaps comprising the cleaner forms of fossil fuel, or zero/low-carbon fuels and technologies. This is in place in some countries (Austria, Sweden, Switzerland), under national law.
The first NGC facilitated under EECS was the RECS certificate. RECS certificate can be seen as predecessors of the legislative guarantees of origin that are now implemented throughout Europe. In accordance with their phase-out, and to ensure avoidance of double counting, AIB ceased to support transfer of RECS Certificates at the end of 2015.
Other Non-governmental Certificates
The EECS Rules are under continuous development, which is subject to agreement by the AIB members. In the changing energy landscape, other types of energy certificates than GOs may serve the developing needs. AIB welcomes any dialogue on this field.
AIB aims to develop a Non-Governmental Certificate in relation with CertifHy.