White certificates, also known as "Energy Efficiency Certificates "(TEE) and this name already seems to clarify what it is but, from a long and official definition, what we are about to talk about are the negotiable securities that certify the achievement of energy savings in the final uses of energy. These savings must be obtained through interventions and projects to increase energy efficiency which will in turn be well controlled. We are talking about money in exchange for sustainable good practices, so to all intents and purposes i white certificates they are an incentive to reduce the energy consumption.
The Italian legislation with i ministerial decrees of 20 July 2004, in force in January 2005, provided for these for the first time white certificates setting precise quantitative targets for energy savings so as to put electricity and natural gas distributors in a position to reach them annually.
At this point, the recipients of the initiative can take steps to conquer these white certificates carrying out energy efficiency projects with which to obtain them "directly", or by passing through other subjects. They practically buy them, from those who have excess, throwing themselves on market of Energy Efficiency Certificates, organized by GME.
A change to this whole system of white certificates was introduced with the decree of 28 December 2012 which defined national savings targets for the four-year period 2013-2016, for 2016. The same decree expands the range of recipients of the provision by admitting previously excluded subjects.
Among those who can submit projects for the release of white certificates today there are obligated and non-obligated subjects. The former are electricity and gas distribution companies with more than 50,000 end customers, the non-obliged, called "volunteers" are for example distributors with end users less than the prescribed one or even service companies, Energy Service Company, producers, installers. Or organizations subject to the obligation to appoint the energy manager.
White certificates: value
Each of the white certificates we talked about is equivalent to saving one ton of oil equivalent (TOE-Equivalent Tons of Oil). This TOE is recognized by applying the following equivalences: 1 toe = 11,628 kWh for fuels (1 toe = 41,860 GJ). Or 1 toe = 5,347.59 kWh for electricity consumption (1 kWh = 0.187 × 10−3 toe).
This differentiation is linked to the fact that to produce equal quantities of thermal and electrical energy, different inputs of primary energy. It takes more for electricity, so for a lack of electricity consumption a greater saving in terms of TOE is recognized compared to the thermal analogue.
GSE white certificates
The GSE, Manager of Energy Services (GSE), since 3 February 2013 is the company that deals with the assessment and certification of savings related to energy efficiency projects within the mechanism of white certificates.The amount of energy savings to be achieved to access the mechanism of white certificates it varies from project to project or, at least, from the general typology and the interventions included in it.
The evaluation that the GSE carries out, therefore, is not at all trivial, just as the commitment that energy distributors or subjects who go to conquer the white certificates must put. Let's see some examples: for interventions subject to evaluation considered "standard" the savings for i white certificates it must be 20 toe / year, for interventions subject to analytical evaluation instead, a minimum of 40 toe / year is required, finally for those to be evaluated with the final balance method the threshold to be reached is 60 toe / year. The mechanism for those who find themselves orienting themselves is not so simple, but with their individual case one thinks better than describing the maximum systems of the system of white certificates.
The intervention that each of the parties involved can propose may be upstream of the energy production process or with the user, helping him to replace old appliances and boilers. From “retiring” to make room for more devices high efficiency and that damage the environment less. By convention, the duration of the interventions is 5 years with some exceptions for which it reaches 8 years, as in the case of building envelopes or'Bioclimatic architecture.
ENEA white certificates
The role of ENEA within the mechanism of white certificates is to make a technical assessment of the energy efficiency measures and energy savings obtained. As i white certificates liked, with the increase in the realities to be examined, it was decided to strengthen the evaluation process and ENEA was supported by RSE which can carry out technical evaluations on projects energy efficiency then presented to the GSE.
Taking a look at the interventions that need to be assessed for the white certificates, we find 4 types: those for saving electricity, those for saving natural gas, third parties relating to saving other fuels for transport and finally there is the saving of other fuels not for transport.
TEE white certificates
We have mentioned that i white certificates can also be obtained by haggling with third parties, such bargaining can take place either between the interested parties, for their own reasons, or in a specific market managed by GME (Manager of Energy Markets).
ESCO white certificates
In addition to directly, those directly affected by white certificates, distributors, can carry out the required interventions through subsidiaries and by companies operating in the energy services sector (ESCO) authorized by the Authority. In reality, this path is often an obligatory choice due to the fact that the GSE considers only such substantial savings packages (from 20 white certificates and more) that can only be reached by the maximum power of 19.9 kW, and only if the plant is in a very sunny region.
Hence, an ESCO can combine the production of several small plants by presenting everything together with the GSE. Furthermore, it is not difficult to believe the presence of a good dose of bureaucracy which, if managed by the single small distributor, is very slowing if not discouraging. An enterprising ESCO can then propose to immediately anticipate the full amount of white certificates of the 5 years then deducting through compensation.
A virtuous process because in this way the installer can use the money to guarantee an immediate discount to the customer who in turn is faced with a nice advantage. Compared especially with the tax incentives which can be recovered in a decade and which in any case require certain conditions to be obtained.
Photovoltaic white certificates
Even those who produce energy with photovoltaics can obtain incentives through White Certificates which in fact include in their nature all forms of production from renewable sources. They can also be added together. Interesting, especially in this current post-energy account era: i white certificates they even almost halve plant costs in the absence of other incentives.
And maybe they could go even further, in terms of convenience, but they are blocked by the size limitations that often make those who deal with photovoltaic more closely and they find themselves "bumping" into thresholds which, moreover, almost exclusively concern photovoltaics.
The situation is paradoxical, on the one hand, because small domestic photovoltaic installations, already having the tax discount, do not go looking for white certificates. Then there are companies, condominiums, public administration, which instead would gladly use them but are in fact excluded from the size limitation. Bread for those who are not "hungry" ...
A few numbers for the white certificates and photovoltaics to get an idea of the kW we are talking about. It is estimated that in Italy, one kW of photovoltaics can yield each year a white certificate equal to about 110 euros, swinging on the stock exchange. For a 3 kW domestic system it would be 330 euros per year from white certificates, in 5 years we reach 1,650 euros.
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