Form of action – certification the only requirement?
Pursuant to the legislative instrument, the energy savings have to be achieved by the obligated parties among final customers. In that regard a certain, at the first glimpse, naive question could be raised, namely, how, in what way hypothetic electricity supplier could offer the individual hose owner to insulate the roof of his house or to install double glazed windows in order to achieve the required annual energy savings (equal to 1.5% of energy sales). It could certainly be assumed that the form of, for instance, donation, isn’t the intended effect of the new measure.
Helpful in resolving this ambiguity is Article 6(5)(b) of the Proposal, which states that, ‘Within the energy efficiency obligation scheme, Member States may permit obligated parties to count towards their obligation certified energy savings achieved by energy service providers or other third parties; in this case they shall establish an accreditation process that is clear, transparent and open to all market actors, and that aims at minimising the costs of certification’.
The interpretation of this provision will be crucial to the practical implementation of the energy efficiency obligation scheme. Many detailed questions emerge as to the practical aspects of the intended measure. One of them is whether obligated entities must finance (and, potentially, to what extent) energy savings among their final customers in order to be able to count these savings towards their obligation. The literal wording of the said provision only stipulates that energy savings could be achieved ‘by energy service providers or other third parties’, it mentions, however, that these savings have to be ‘certified’. Nevertheless, the particulars for the certification process are leaved to the discretion of the Member States and the issue has unspecified character up to now.
The explanation that the energy performance contracting (meaning a contractual arrangement between the beneficiary and the provider of an energy efficiency improvement measure, according to which the payment for the investment made by the provider is in relation to a contractually agreed level of energy efficiency improvement or other agreed energy performance criterion, such as financial savings) will be exploited, does not finish definitively the issue. Is it really the intention of the draft directive to allow energy companies to count towards their obligation every energy saving among their customers, no matter who (certification process excepting) made it and who participated in the initial investment?
A general remark seems suitable as a temporary conclusion of that thread (the issue is, however, worth of in-depth analysis) that the Proposal is really flexible in this matter and the Member States have in this field a real chance for legislative creativity.