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An energy saving tool: WHITE CERTIFICATES

The White Certificates mechanism was introduced in Italy in 2005 as an energy efficiency incentive and is based on Energy Efficiency Credits (EECs) that are linked to an economic value. These titles are obtained following completion of projects that guarantee certified, measurable energy savings.

The system obliges gas and electricity distributors to make savings and sets yearly targets. The Italian Ministerial Decree of 11 January 2017 sets out national obligations for the 2017-2020 period. It defines criteria and methods for implementing energy efficiency measures in end use areas eligible for the incentive. The requirements for white certificates to be cancelled are declining as a result of the previously mentioned Ministerial Decree which, in setting the objectives for the 2017–2020 period, has profoundly changed the system, inter alia by removing the "durability coefficient" (tau). The new procedures will therefore generate fewer certificates over a longer period of time. This has led to a redefinition of the targets, reduced from 2017 onwards. Savings for the Hera Group amounted to 346,000 toe in 2017, some 6% of the national target. The Decree also allows for implementation of 'behavioural' improvements such as the adoption of efficient reporting and management systems, or the adoption of systems for analysing individual plant, utility or vehicle consumption data.

The National Energy Strategy consider this an essential tool to achieve the 2020 target since it contributes roughly for 35% to national energy efficiency goals (41% in 2016)). It is, in fact, deemed to be more efficient than the use of tax deductions for the modernisation  of building energy systems or incentives for the use of renewable thermal energy. This is partially because it involves an economic incentive that is not predetermined but, rather, linked to the actual savings provided by the project and the market value of titles on the basis of supply and demand. The entire cost of this system is paid via gas and electricity bills.

  • 116 energy efficiency white certificates from projects with external companies since 2007
  • the white certificates system generated 41% of the results needed to reach the 2016 national energy efficiency targets
  • CESEF awarded Hera, in collaboration with RSE and Galletti Group, with the Energy Efficiency Award 2018 for the "Best idea for an energy efficiency project in the industrial sector"