Joining the AIB

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					                                                                                                     14 October 2009

                                                  Joining the AIB
            AIB simplifies the international transfer of energy certificates

Energy certificates are electronic documents      The European Energy Certificate System
which offer evidence of the source of a quan-     (EECS) is well-tested, and based on a harmon-
tity of energy, including the method and qual-    ised environment, structures and procedures.
ity of its production.                            It ensures the reliable operation of interna-
                                                  tional energy certificate systems across Eu-
These certificates are held in accounts on        rope, and has proved to be highly effective,
registration databases and are transferable       efficient, fraud-resistant and low cost.
between account holders. They are used to in-
form consumers of the quality of their energy;    EECS enables international trade between the
and to provide evidence of compliance with        certificate schemes of 16 European countries.
public obligations, perhaps as a prerequisite
of receiving support or an exemption from         EECS certificates are uniquely identifiable,
taxation.                                         tradable and contain standard information
                                                  including: a unique certificate number, issuer,
The Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) is        production facility identity, time of issue, pe-
the leading enabler of international transfers    riod of energy production, type of technology,
of energy certificates, and guarantees the Eu-    installed capacity and an indication of wheth-
ropean Energy Certificate System (EECS) - no      er public support has been received.
other international energy certificate scheme
exists worldwide.                                 Members of the AIB first commenced opera-
                                                  tion in 2001. Since then, over 600 million cer-
Most members of the AIB are energy regula-        tificates – each representing one megawatt
tors and transmission system operators. The       hour of electricity – have been created. 184
majority of members have been appointed by        million certificates were issued in 2008, dem-
governments to issue the renewable electrici-     onstrating the high level of acceptance of AIB
ty guarantees of origin (GO) introduced by the    services. This growth reflects the increasing
EU Directives for renewable energy (2001/77/      demand for certification of renewable electric-
EC, and its recent replacement 2009/28/EC);       ity, for disclosure of fuel mix.
and CHP (2004/8/EC).

                                     Why join the AIB?

The issuers of internationally transferable en-   AIB cooperates with the European Commis-
ergy certificates (such as GO) face the same      sion, seeking solutions to issues of common
challenge: to develop an accurate, reliable,      interest. This ensures that EECS complies with
fraud-resistant system, which supports na-        European legislation, to the extent that EECS is
tional and international legislation and har-     the Commission benchmark for CHP guaran-
monises with the systems of other countries;      tees of origin. By briefing the European Com-
and to do so both quickly and cost-effectively.   mission on common issues, AIB is also able to
                                                  influence its thinking in a way that acts to the
The AIB offers a standardised solution, based     benefit of market mechanisms and stakehold-
on years of experience; and the support of        ers.
members who have already implemented sys-
tems, and identified and overcome solutions       This is particularly useful where international
to many common problems.                          legislation changes: AIB members can pool re-
                                                  sources and experience in order to resolve the
The members of AIB pool their common expe-        challenges raised by new legislation, in such
riences and resources to develop systems such     a way as to act to the benefit of member sys-
as EECS, and the inter-registry Hub (which        tems and national policy intentions.
transfers certificates between registries). AIB
also provides a forum for members to address      AIB also seeks to raise with national govern-
issues of common relevance, such as the cal-      ments issues that arise from national support
culation of national residual mixes.              schemes, and have an international impact. In
                                                  this way it can help protect policy objectives.
                                                                                                        14 October 2009

                                                   Joining the AIB
Becoming a member of the AIB
The procedure for setting up an AIB infrastructure in a country is as follows:

1.      Appoint an Issuing Body

2.      If required, appoint agents to support the activities of the Issuing Body

3.      Select, implement and test registry software or services

4.      Draft a Domain Protocol, setting out how the market will operate in that country

5.      Gain the approval of the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB)

6.      Start issuing certificates.

The following paragraphs decribe these steps in more detail.

Any questions should be addressed to the Secretary General at, or call +44(0)1494 681183.

The website is also available, at

Step 1: Appoint an Issuing Body                             Step 2: Appoint agents to support
                                                                    Issuing Body

The government appoints an Issuing Body for obliga-         To fulfil its responsibilities, the Issuing Body can, if it
tory schemes; while private organisations do this for       wishes, appoint:
voluntary schemes. The Issuing Body must be finan-
cially independent of market participants; may not          - A Production Registrar, to inspect Production De-
profit from trade in certificates; and must undertake to      vices on application from Generators and to verify
ensure that it operates according to the rules of EECS.       energy consumption.

The rules of EECS are set out in the “Principles and           This ensures that the requirements of the PRO and
Rules of Operation for the European Energy Certificate         the Domain Protocol are satisfied
System “ (known the PRO).
                                                            - An Auditing Body, to verify the continued fulfil-
                                                              ment of the conditions for registration according to
Responsibility                                                the standards set out in a Domain Protocol.

The appointed Issuing Body is responsible for:                 This will include comparing registered generation
                                                               capacity with the issued number of certificates and
- Inspecting all Production Devices that wish to par-          other relevant data (e.g. wind speeds)
                                                            - A Central Monitoring Office is appointed by the
- Issuing, transferring ownership of and cancelling           Issuing Body to administer an electronic registry.
                                                               This registry holds certificates that have either been
- Recording in an electronic registry the details of all       issued for, or held by, participants within this coun-
  issued Certificates                                          try. The registry records the details, status (transfer-
                                                               able, cancelled, imported or exported) and owner-
     - Complying with EECS and the Articles of Associa-        ship each certificate.
       tion of the AIB.
                                                                                                               14 October 2009

                                                   Joining the AIB
Step 3: Select, implement and                                Step 4: Gain approval of membership
        test registry

Select and implement                                         Application

Setting up a registry is the responsibility of the Issuing   The Issuing Body applies in writing to the AIB Sec-
Body, which can develop its own software; or use com-        retariat to become a member (preferably using the
mercially available software, such as:                       proforma at:

ATOS ORIGIN (                             At the same time, they pay the first installment of the
                                                             annual membership fee. This is currently €5,000, and
  Vendor:    AtosOrigin, Austria                             entitles the member to join one scheme (e.g. GO for
  Contact:   A Woloch (AtosOrigin, Austria)                  renewables, GO for CHP, RECS etc.).
  Tel:       +43 (0)1 60543 0                                Members wishing to join more than one scheme
                                                             pay an additional fee of €1,000 per scheme once the
                                                             Domain Protocol has been approved by the General
BoX-GoO (                                      Meeting.

  Vendor:    Borzen, Slovenia
  Contact:   B Rajer
  Email:                           Consideration
  Tel:       +386 1 620 7600/7650
                                                             The AIB holds four general meetings each year. Each
                                                             which includes a social event such as a dinner - consid-
CMO.grexel (                                  ers matters concerning the policy and administration
                                                             of the AIB. It also offers members the opportunity to
  Vendor:    Grexel, Finland                                 catch up on recent events, and take part in decision-
  Contact:   M Lehtovaara                                    making.
  Tel:       +358 9 4241 3160                                The next General Meeting will be asked to consider
                                                             and approve membership applications.

LOGACTIV (www.encore-inter-                                  Membership is granted to the applicant provided 75%
                                      of the votes cast are in favour, and the Applicant may
                                                             exercise its vote at the next General Meeting. How-
  Vendor:    Encore International, UK                        ever, scheme membership is also necessary, before the
  Contact:   M Sandford                                      member can issue EECS certificates.
  Tel:       +44 (7946) 710026


Software must be tested by AIB’s Systems Working
Group prior to implementation in a live environment:

  Contact: Tomaz Lah
           Slovenian Energy Agency
  Tel:      +386 (0) 2234 0300
                                                                                                       14 October 2009

                                                     Joining the AIB

Step 5: Gain approval of scheme

Prepare a Domain Protocol                                     Approval

Issuing Bodies must apply the PRO within the context          The Secretary General will ask the next General Meet-
their own of national laws and operational procedures.        ing to consider and approve this Domain Protocol.

Rules supplementary to the PRO which apply to a geo-          All members of the AIB can comment on the Domain
graphic domain must be set out in a Domain Protocol           Protocol and discuss any issues arising at the next AIB
(an AIB template is available to help Issuing Bodies          General Meeting, following which the application for
draft this).                                                  Scheme membership will be put to the vote.

Typical issues which differ between countries and are         Membership is granted to the applicant provided 75%
addressed in a Domain Protocol include: verification          of the votes cast are in favour.
and audit of Production Devices; calculation of elec-
tricity generated; and measurement of the proportion
of RES-E generated from biomass and pumped hydro.             Completion of formalities

                                                              The Applicant signs and provides to the AIB Secretary
Process application for scheme membership                     General details of its national support schemes.

The applicant sends the Domain Protocol for the rel-          Scheme membership, with all rights and duties,
evant Scheme to the AIB Secretary General.                    becomes operative the working day after the Domain
                                                              Protocol has been approved by the General Meeting.
The Secretary General reviews the Domain Protocol to
identify issues which might require special consider-

The AIB appoints two Issuing Bodies to review the             Step 6: Start issuing certificates
Domain Protocol.
                                                              Owners of Production Devices send the Issuing Body
These reviewers check the Domain Protocol for confor-         such documentation as it requires, on receipt of which
mity with the PRO and its Subsidiary Documents. They          the Issuing Body instructs the Production Registrar to
also check that the registry complies with the require-       confirm the details, if necessary by means of a visit.
ments of the PRO and its Subsidiary Documents.
                                                              Assuming the verification report is positive, the owner
The ability of the registry to transfer certificates to and   of the Production Device may start sending measure-
from the other registries via the inter-registry Hub is       ment data (and consumption data for pumped storage
then tested.                                                  and combustion plant) to the Issuing Body.

If the reviewers request, the Applicant must explain          At this point, the Issuing Body can then issue cer-
any provisions that seem unclear, and may be required         tificates; and a further membership fee of €0.01 per
to amend its Domain Protocol.                                 certificate issued is made.

The reviewers inform the Secretary General when they          At the end of the first calendar year of operation, the
have approved the Domain Protocol, or if they discov-         annual fee for members issuing more than 1.5 million
er matters of principal in which they seek the advice of      certificates rises to €20,000 plus €5,000 per addiitonal
the membership.                                               scheme (the maximum total membership fee is
                                                              capped at €35,000 plus €5,000 per scheme).

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