News Article
February 25, 2011

Energy Saving Certificates: Trading the Way to Efficiency

Energy SavingEnergy savings certificates (ESCs) have been around for a decade, but they’ve been slow to catch on globally. These tradable instruments represent the avoidance of a defined amount of energy use – but how much and what kind depends on the state or nation that created them. Best practices and standard definitions could help ESCs grow expand the market for energy efficiency projects.

Clues to best practices can be found in existing ESC programs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and Australia, and in emerging programs in India and South Africa. Key variables include:

  • Who is eligible for certificates.

  • How certificates are priced.

  • How certificates are traded.

  • How savings are measured and verified.

The time for ESCs is right: Spending on energy efficiency in the U.S. and Canada grew more than 40 percent from 2009 to 2010 and is rising globally. ESCs can facilitate that growth in new and interesting ways. Clear definitions and information about proven approaches can encourage growth of ESCs in the public and private sectors alike.

Download the detailed issue brief in the Resources section above.


February 2011


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