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What do these terms actually mean?

The acronym "EECS" stands for the "European Energy Certificate System".

EECS provides harmonised rules for the operation of public and commercial certificate systems. These rules are set out in a document known as “the Principles and Rules of Operation of the European Energy Certificate System” – the EECS Rules.

The rules of EECS allow certificates to be transferred securely between countries and regions across Europe.

An Issuing Body is the body that is appointed by government or by industry to take responsibility for ensuring that certificates provide unique and reliable evidence of the source of energy, enabling them to be transferred between market parties, and regulating the way in which they are used.

They do this by:

  • Ensuring the technology used by participating plant are properly identified and recorded, along with any changes, and that only properly registered plant are permitted to participate.
  • Recording the amount of fuel consumed and energy generated by participating plant, and confirming that this is both accurate and reasonable.
  • Recording details of plant and certificates in a registry.
  • Transferring certificates between accounts on instruction from certificate-holders, including transferring them into cancellation accounts as proof that the associated energy has been consumed.
  • Preventing the transfer of certificates that have been placed into cancellation accounts.

They may also administer the provision of public support to the holders of cancelled certificates, although EECS does not currently support any such certificates.

Consumers are becoming more discriminating. They want excellent value for money, and to know all about their energy purchases - the source, resources consumed, and enviromental impact. Energy suppliers must be able to answer these questions and more. But electricity flowing through transmission and distribution systems comes from many sources, so how can this be done?

Certification solves this by providing evidence of the source of energy. Each unique certificate can be transferred from generator to supplier to consumer. This lets consumers choose between different sources and blends of electricity, and offers proof of compliance with public support schemes.

A certificate provides evidence of the quality of a single megawatt hour of electrical energy.

An Independent Criteria Scheme provides the consumer with proof of the quality of supplied energy, according to an agreed set of criteria. The claims made by such ICSs may be supported by the supplier, by proving that it owns a certificate for each megawatt hour of supplied energy during the period of supply.

The purpose of a certificate is to provide evidence of the source, time and means of production of one megawatt hour of electrical energy. This can then be used to prove to consumers or to government such matters as the environmental impact of the energy.

RECS International is a group of market participants that trade in renewable energy certificates throughout Europe. It started in 2001, as a voluntary initiative to create a uniform system for cross-border certificate trading, and there are now more than 150 members trading certificates in 20 (mostly European) countries.

To protect its investment in a secure, workable and efficient market, RECS cooperates with the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB), holding an annual conference (the RECS Market Meeting) and sponsoring workshops and open seminars.

In addition, RECS International effectively lobbies national and European governments for harmonisation of the pan-European market for certificate trading.