White certificates – what can we learn from other countries?

Ea Energy Analyses has analysed the schemes for white certificates in the UK, France and Italy. The aim was to examine what Denmark can learn from these countries if the Danish Government should wish to introduce white certificates as a means to implement greater energy efficiency.


Both the UK, France and Italy have several years of experience in using white certificates. France and Italy have real negotiable white certificates which are freely tradable, whilst the UK has a system of trading of obligations to realise energy savings between obligated parties.

Our analysis has shown that:

  • An exchange for white certificates can work in practice

  • It may be desirable to include the lifetime of the savings and the CO2 content in the fuel as well as other energy policy aspects when assessing the effects of the savings

  • It seems undesirable to use an interest rate to discount the physical energy savings.

  • Standard solutions and energy savings in the residential sector are dominating in the UK, France and Italy.

  • The preferred means is subsidies.

  • Energy savings in the transport sector can be part of a white certificates scheme.


It is debatable which experience from the three countries’ white certificates schemes could be beneficial for Denmark to implement. This should be determined on the basis of a political assessment, and the results of the coming evaluation of the Danish energy efficiency initiatives should be taken into consideration.


The report was prepared for The Danish Energy Authority (now The Danish Energy Agency) from May-November 2007.


Last update 17-Jul-2015

Further information:




Contact: Mikael Togeby



Helge Ørsted Pedersen



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