Disclosure: guarantees of origin for CHP

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

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 label power so as to provide electricity customers information on the energy 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 amount of electricity.

Suppliers are only allowed to call their supplied electricity ‘electricity high efficient CHP’ 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 coming from such origin. Therefore, GOs are the instrument to make 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).

Trading of GOs

GOs for high efficient CHP can be traded between account holders in the VREG certificate database.

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 the corresponding resources.

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.