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Journal Articles Energy efficiency Year : 2012

The costs and benefits of white certificates schemes


White certificate schemes mandate energy companies to promote energy efficiency with flexibility mechanisms, including the trading of energy savings. A unified framework is used to estimate the costs and benefits of the schemes implemented in Great Britain in 2002, in Italy in 2005 and in France in 2006. 'Negawatt-hour cost' estimates reach 0. 009€/kWh saved in Great Britain and 0.037€/kWh saved in France, which compares favourably to energy prices in those countries. Moreover, the benefits of reduced energy bills and CO 2 emissions saved exceed the costs; thus, white certificate schemes pay for themselves. Overall, the policy instrument is cost-effective and economically efficient. A closer look at the differences amongst countries provides general insights about the conceptualization of the instrument: (a) Compared to utility demand-side management, to which they are related, white certificate schemes provide more transparency about energy savings, but less transparency around costs; (b) the substantial efficiency discrepancy between the British scheme and its French counterpart can be explained by differences in technological potentials, coexisting policies and supply-side systems in these countries and (c) the nature and amount of costs influence compliance strategies. Notably, if energy suppliers are allowed to set their retail price freely, they tend to grant subsidies to end-use consumers for energy efficient investments. 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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Dates and versions

hal-00755826 , version 1 (22-11-2012)



L.-G. Giraudet, L. Bodineau, D. Finon. The costs and benefits of white certificates schemes. Energy efficiency, 2012, 5 (2), pp.179-199. ⟨10.1007/s12053-011-9134-6⟩. ⟨hal-00755826⟩
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