White Certificate Scheme & Obligation

Last updated: 29 March 2022

Under the French program of White Certificates Trading, suppliers of energy (electricity, gas, heating oil, LPG, heat, refrigeration) must meet government-mandated targets for energy savings achieved through the suppliers residential and tertiary customers. Suppliers are free to select the actions to meet their objectives, such as informing customers how to reduce energy consumption, running promotional programmes, providing incentives to customers and so on. A list of ratified activities was ratified to help the various actors to facilitate the operations. Those exceeding and undercutting their objectives can trade energy savings certificates as required for common compliance. Energy suppliers who do not meet their obligation over the period (2006-2008) must pay a penalty of euro 0,02 per kWh. Lump evaluation of energy savings are established for each process, expressed in kWh of final energy, cumulated and present-worthed over the life of the product. The first, experimental phase of the scheme will run for three years from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2009. It is intended that during this time, the scheme will result in 54TWh of cumulated energy savings.
Following the success of the first period (2006-2009), a second phase was launched on 1st January 2011 (2011-2013) and extended to include vehicle fuel vendors. This second phase will be extended by a year, before the start of the third period which is currently in preparation.
The target set during the first period (54 TWhcumac), and split between the energy suppliers according to their sales volumes and energy prices after tax, has been exceeded (65.2 TWhcumac). The target for the second period has been set at 115 TWhcumac/year. The target for the third period has been set at 660 TWhcumac within 3 years.
In 2014, decrees and orders regarding the 3rd period of the White Certificate Scheme were published. The 3rd period started on the 1st of January 2015, with an objective of 700 TWh cumac for the 2015-2017 period.
In 2018 the target was increased significantly: 1,600 TWh of accumulated and updated energy over the period.

In 2022, 100 million euros are invested in 5 energy saving programs, linked with improving energy efficiency in the digital world, SMEs and in the transport sector. Programmes making use of digital technology to reduce energy consumption raised 15 million EUR, whilst programmes on energy savings for 61 000 SMEs and VSEs raised 26 million EUR. 

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