An ecolabel for electricity

eid2o-02EKOenergy is a network of 21 European environmental NGOs promoting the use of renewable electricity. On February 23rd 2013, the EKOenergy Board approved criteria for the EKOenergy label, the first (and only) pan-European ecolabel for electricity.

Consumers on the European electricity market are confronted with a variety of questions and doubts. “How do I change from one supplier to another?” “What’s the use of choosing an electricity product, knowing that we are all getting electricity from the same grid?” “Which supplier and what products should I choose?” “And if I have a green contract, how does this affect my personal CO2-emission?”

Surprisingly, these basic questions get very different answers in different parts of Europe. Different countries have different traditions and different public opinions. Countries also differ one from another in the degree of integration into the European market. This is a problem, not only for international consumers and for electricity suppliers active on several national markets, but also for individual consumers. “Consumers buy green electricity because they want to make a difference. Unfortunately consumers’ combined impact reduces enormously if they get different advice in different countries. If consumers want to make a difference on the European market, they have to join forces with likeminded consumers in other countries.” says Steven Vanholme from the EKOenergy Secretariat.

Until recently, there was no coordination between NGOs in different countries. This has now changed: 21 environmental organisations from 18 countries have created an EKOenergy network. And the members of that network have agreed on a common European ecolabel for electricity: EKOenergy. Both the network and the label are the result of a intensive consultation process, to which over 300 stakeholders from all stakeholder groups have contributed: European environmental NGOs, electricity suppliers, electricity producers, consumers, consumer organisations and authorities.

EKOenergy will be the first and only label for electricity resulting from a pan-European consultation process and valid in the whole of Europe.

The label deals with the following:

Consumer information: EKOenergy guarantees that consumers of green electricity will get information about where and how the electricity has been produced.

Climate: A part of the green premium (price paid for the greenness) will go to projects that would not have taken place without the purchase

Biodiversity: EKOenergy takes into account the effect on the nature. Consumers of EKOenergy help to make existing power plants more environmentally friendly.

Tracking: Different Member-States implement the European tracking and disclosure rules in different ways. EKOenergy actively promotes best practice with regard to tracking and disclosure.

– Auditing and verification: All the claims made by EKOenergy suppliers will be audited and verified.

The approved text ‘EKOenergy – network and label’ is now available in four languages (Dutch, English, Italian and Spanish). Other languages will follow.

For more information, go to http://www.ekoenergy.org.

 

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