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White certificates

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In environmental policy, white certificates are documents certifying that a certain reduction of energy consumption has been attained. In most applications, the white certificates are tradable and combined with an obligation to achieve a certain target of energy savings. Under such a system, producers, suppliers or distributors of electricity, gas and oil are required to undertake energy efficiency measures for the final user that are consistent with a pre-defined percentage of their annual energy deliverance. If energy producers do not meet the mandated target for energy consumption they are required to pay a penalty. The white certificates are given to the producers whenever an amount of energy is saved whereupon the producer can use the certificate for their own target compliance or can be sold to (other) parties who cannot meet their targets. Quite analogous to the closely related concept of emissions trading, the tradability in theory guarantees that the overall energy saving is achieved at least cost, while the certificates guarantee that the overall energy saving target is achieved.
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