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The costs and benefits of white certificates schemes

Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet, Luc Bodineau and Dominique Finon
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Luc Bodineau: ADEME - Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie
Dominique Finon: CIRED - Centre international de recherche sur l'environnement et le développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - AgroParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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Abstract: 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 per kWh saved in Great Britain and €0.037 per kWh saved in France, which compares favourably to energy prices in those countries. Moreover, the benefits of reduced energy bills and CO2 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 among countries provides general insights about the conceptualization of the instrument : (i) 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 ; (ii) 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 ; (iii) 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.

Keywords: White certificate schemes; Energy efficiency; Effectiveness; Cost-effectiveness; Social efficiency; dispositifs de certificats blancs; efficacité énergétique; efficacité; coût-efficacité; efficience (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-03
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