Frequently asked questions

Who needs to apply for and cancel guarantees of origin?

If an electricity supplier sells or uses renewable energy in its marketing, it must verify the origin of the electricity.

An electricity producer and user that, in its other business, gives its customers information about the origin of the electricity it uses, must verify the proportion of renewable energy sources (this concerns, for example, forest industry plants that use electricity they produce from renewable energy sources in paper-making, and make use of this information when they market the paper).

What is needed in order to issue a guarantee of origin?

Before a guarantee of origin for electricity can be issued, the information from the power plant must be verified by a certification company. After verification, a power plant may apply for guarantees of origin. The production information of the plant must be sent if needed to Fingrid in EDI message form. The issuing of a guarantee of origin for a plant takes place once a month or less frequently and after the imbalance settlement for the target month has been completed (e.g. for production in August 2018, Finextra will issue guarantees by 10 October 2018).

In what kind of periods are guarantees of origin issued?

The guarantees of origin for 2018 production will mainly be issued once a month for the production period of the calendar month in question.

Guarantees of origin can be issued in periods of 3 or 6 months instead of 1 – this choice can be made individually for each power plant. The account holder undertakes to observe the issuing periods it has chosen for one calendar year.

How is a guarantee of origin used?

When issued, a guarantee of origin is used by cancelling it. Cancellation is thus proof that the electricity has been produced using renewable energy sources. If a guarantee of origin is not cancelled within 12 months of the end of the production period, the registrar expires it automatically so that it is no longer available.

How is a power plant verified?

The power plant owner must deliver to Finextra a certifier's certificate showing that the power plant meets the requirements set out in the Act on Verification and Notification of Origin of Electricity concerning the method of producing electricity and the energy sources used, and that the arrangements for measuring the energy are reliable. Certification companies are authorised by the Energy Authority and, at present, there are four of them: Enemi Oy, Inspecta Oy, DNV Certification Oy/Ab and Teqniq Wind Oy.

Certification carried out for the feed-in tariff system and certification based on the EECS system can be considered equal to certification based on the guarantee of origin system.

The EECS verification is mainly used to verify hydropower and wind power plants. The account holder and distribution grid owner fill in the distribution grid owner's certificate and send it, signed by the distribution grid owner, to the address go@finextra.fi.

How long is the certification of a power plant in force?

Certification based on the guarantee of origin system remains in force for a maximum of five years.

How is the production information of a power plant delivered to Finextra?

Imbalance settlement information is used whenever possible. Imbalance settlement measurement data about wind farms and hydroelectric plants can usually be used.

If the imbalance settlement does not provide enough exact production information to issue guarantees of origin, the customer should arrange the separate delivery of the production information to Finextra.

With regard to multi-fuel plants, the owner of the plant arranges if needed the delivery of the production information to Fingrid's system as EDI messages.

A guarantee of origin is not issued for electricity that a power plant uses itself.

How is fuel information verified in a multi-fuel plant?

For multi-fuel plants, fuel information is added directly into the electronic register before the issuing of the guarantee of origin.

The responsibility for the accuracy of the fuel information rests with the owner of the power plant.

It must be possible to verify the reliability of the given information for at least six years from the end of the calendar year that the information relates to.

When is the latest time that 2017 guarantees of origin should be cancelled, if they are used in information given to users of electricity?

A guarantee of origin that concerns 2017 production and which is used to verify information given to users of electricity in 2017 should be cancelled by 31 March 2018.

How long do guarantees of origin that have been issued remain in force?

A guarantee of origin can be used within 12 months of the last day of the production of the electrical energy that corresponds to it.

How is a guarantee of origin expired?

The registrar expires a guarantee of origin immediately if it has not been used within 12 months of the last day of the production of the electrical energy that corresponds to the guarantee.

Expired guarantees of origin cannot be used as proof of the renewability of the origin of the electricity.

How can guarantees of origin be transferred between EU/EEA Member States?

Guarantees of origin issued by other member states are also recognized between EU/EEA countries. Transfers between the registers of different countries are done through the EECS Hub. The EECS Hub is administered by AIB and practical transfers are carried out in the electronic register administrated by Finextra.

An 'aggregator' can act as a common account holder for several producers

An account holder can administer the power plants of several producers (aggregation). In such a case, the aggregator is responsible for the customer service, necessary powers of attorney and power plant information of these operators. An aggregator might be, for example, an electricity trader, a portfolio owner or another service provider. Aggregation makes it easier for smaller electricity producers to utilise the system, because potential aggregators also often offer other market services to smaller players. The fixed charges of such an arrangement are divided between several operators participating in the aggregation.

The information about a power plant is changing. How is this reported and to where?

If a power plant's information changes during the period that certification is valid, the owner of the power plant must inform the registrar of this to go@finextra.fi (e.g. essential changes in the plant's production methods or energy sources and changes in co-operative shares of co-operative power plants) or alternatively add the changes directly into the register.

Do you want more information about guarantees of origin?

We keep a list of contact persons of customers and stakeholders, whom we inform about new matters. Please register for this list at go@finextra.fi.