Disclosure: guarantees of origin

In order to provide consumers with information on the origin of their electricity consumption, VREG publishes a yearly Fuelmix Report.

With this information, the online Origin Comparator enables consumers to compare the origin of electricity per supplier and per electricity product. In case of electricity from renewable energy sources, it provides detail on the country of origin and the type of renewable energy source.

Consumers who want to be check whether their promised green electricity was ex post really proven to originate from renewable resources, are invited to perform the Greencheck.

At the point of consumption it is physically impossible to trace the origin of the consumed electricity. Therefore the system of guarantees of origin was created, as a reliable parallel with the physical electricity flows.

What is a Guarantee of Origin?

Guarantees of Origin (GOs) are the instrument to prove the origin of electricity so as to provide electricity customers information on the renewable sources of the electricity they use.

They are issued in an internet based electronic database to electricity producers, per MWh of production of electricity from renewable resources. They are the only tool to be used to proof the origin of the produced and supplied amount of electricity.

Suppliers are only allowed to call their supplied electricity in Flanders ‘electricity from renewabler resources’ if they cancelled a corresponding amount of guarantees of origin to proof it. This means the GOs are taken out of circulation and destroyed, so that the same amount of electricity cannot be sold a second time as 'green'. Therefore, GOs are the instrument to make green power contracts reliable.

A guarantee of origin is only allowed to be used once and cannot be copied.

Issuing of GOs

Producers who want to apply for GOs, send their application to the Flemish Energy Agency ( VEA ), who will check the reliability and completeness of the application, and follow the procedures to monthly obtain related measurement data. GO’s are issued by VREG based on the data provided by the VEA. GOs are issued in an internet based trading platform to which every producer and trader obtains an account on request at VREG.

In order to prevent fraud, VREG passes on the information of account holders to the Belgian tax authority (BBI).

GOs issued by VREG for electricity from renewable resources that is injected to the grid in Flanders, comply with the EECS Rules of the AIB, and follow the EECS GO standard. Details of the EECS GO system in Flanders are to be found in the Domain Protocol for Flanders.

Trading of GOs

GOs can be traded over 2 mechanisms:

  • between account holders in the VREG certificate database
  • with account holders in other certificate databases in the EECS system, as the VREG certificate database is connected with the AIB hub.

Canceling of GOs

In Flanders GOs can be validated by electricity suppliers. By canceling GOs a supplier proves to his customers that the corresponding amount of electricity was originated from renewable resources. In order to connect the correct amount of GOs to the amount of promised green electricity, the Green Reporting procedure is followed.

Green Reporting Procedure

In this procedure the supplier monthly reports to VREG a list of (EAN codes of) his consumers of green electricity and the percentage of green electricity each consumer is promised. The grid operators complement this list with the consumption of every consumer mentioned in the list. Based on the aggregated volume of green electricity promised by every supplier, the VREG Green Reporting Tool calculates the amount of GO’s a supplier has to cancel. If a supplier would not cancel enough GOs, this becomes visible in the Green Check.

Green Check

The Greencheck is a tool on the VREG website where an individual consumer in Flanders can check whether his supplier has canceled the necessary amount of GOs to cover his individual consumption of electricity from renewable resources. The consumer therefore only needs to fill in his EAN Code.

Expiry of GOs

GOs must be used 12 months after the production period to avoid expiry.

(The only exception on the expiry date is when for a reason outside the control of the producer, the guarantees of origin are issued more than 6 months after the end of the production period. In that case they are valid for 6 months after the issuing date.)

A GO thus always has a clearly defined end-of-life, or at cancelation, or at expiry.