Citizens' Q&A

  Public consultation on advice on “green” electricity

What is CEER's advice on green electricity?  

In recent years, we have observed across Europe a growing interest by customers in electricity generated from renewable sources and the willingness to use this electricity. Nevertheless, electricity customers’ lack of understanding about issues related to disclosure of the source of that energy and the lack of trust in the disclosure system creates the need for a broad discussion on these issues.

This CEER public consultation document presents draft recommendations on how to make the system for disclosing how electricity has been produced more coherent and reliable, and information on disclosure more transparent, so that customers can make a decision based on information they can trust.

What does the report propose for green electricity?

As CEER seeks to put customers at the centre of its work, CEER analyses the disclosure system from the customers’ perspective. The draft recommendations aim to empower electricity customers by providing them with adequate, reliable and consistent information and by developing a reliable, trustworthy and transparent disclosure system and pushing forward the integration of the European electricity market.

Our recommendations look at issues such as:
- improving marketing terminology;
- increasing reliability and comprehensiveness and consistency of information - by standardising how key information is provided;
- standardising the systems for obligatory disclosure of sources/origins of energy and extending this to all sources (not only renewables);
- requiring a common tracking instrument for 'green' electricity; and
- implementing a clear labelling system alongside guarantees of origin.

How does it work?

The document poses 15 questions related to green electricity. This CEER public consultation, launched on 16 December 2013, is carried out through a dedicated online questionnaire on the CEER website. CEER invites all interested stakeholders to respond to this public consultation. The deadline for responses is 7 February 2014. All responses, except confidential material, will be published on the website

After the consultation period, CEER will analyse all the responses received. The results of the consultation will be presented at a public hearing Q2 2014. Following this public hearing, CEER will develop its final advice, aiming to publish it around mid-2014. 

Why is this important for energy customers? What is the impact on energy customers?  

The information for the customer on the source of the electricity provided should be reliable and the system providing this information needs to be efficient. Even if the principle of disclosure is abstract and therefore complicated to understand, the information provided to the customer should be simple. A customer who trusts the information will be empowered to base the decision on choosing a supplier and a contract for electricity on this information (among other elements, such as price and service level) and a reliable disclosure system protects the customer from being misled by unfounded claims that the electricity supplied is from renewable sources.

This Advice is destined for regulators, public agencies, governments, consumer organisations, NGOs and the electricity industry. The topic of disclosure is very much dealt with by a limited number of specialists. With this advice, CEER wishes to broaden the debate and deepen the understanding of this topic for all stakeholders.

The importance of this topic for electricity customers is that reliable and trustworthy information on the origin – both technologically and geographically – of electricity provides customers with more choice, more options and thus enhances market functioning. Furthermore, it can foster more sustainable behaviour. Finally, an international market for guarantees of origin can help to integrate and develop the European energy market. 


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