The EKOenergy ecolabel
The EKOenergy label is an internationally recognised mark of quality for renewable electricity, gas, heat and cooling. The ecolabel is also a communication tool and is used by individuals and companies to demonstrate their commitment to renewable energy, which encourages others to do the same. This helps speed up the transition to a 100% renewable world.
Our international and multilingual team will be happy to give you more information and answer your questions. Our materials are available in over 20 languages.
EKOenergy’s criteria in a nutshell
EKOenergy-labelled energy is always 100% renewable but it accomplishes so much more than that. The ecolabel proves that the consumed energy fulfils extra criteria which were determined by a network of environmental NGOs. Using the ecolabel also helps consumers make a concrete, additional impact, for example through our Climate Fund and Environmental Fund.
1. Reliable tracking and avoiding double counting
EKOenergy is renewable, green energy. To prove this, we require that the origin of the energy is reliably tracked and double counting of environmental attributes is excluded (i.e. we are absolutely sure that only 1 person or company can claim a specific MWh of renewable energy). Therefore, we only accept instruments that fulfil the quality criteria of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 Guidance. In Europe, energy is tracked with Guarantees of Origin, as regulated by European legislation. In Northern America, the origin of EKOenergy is proven with RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates). Elsewhere we accept other reliable methods of energy tracking, for example, national Energy Attribute Certificate schemes or I-RECs. The production and consumption of energy have to take place within the same market boundaries.
EKOenergy is sustainably produced renewable energy. EKOenergy-labelled energy must fulfil the sustainability criteria set by the EKOenergy Network. Green energy can be sold with the EKOenergy label only by EKOenergy sellers, after power plants have been approved by EKOenergy’s Secretariat or by EKOenergy’s Board. Contact EKOenergy’s Secretariat for more information about the approval process. Approval is free of charge.
Our sustainability criteria cover the following aspects:
- Wind energy and solar energy can be sold as EKOenergy-labelled electricity if the installations are located outside protected nature areas and outside important bird areas. The same rules apply to energy from geothermal installations and from marine energy installations.
- EKOenergy-labelled hydropower comes from installations that fulfil EKOenergy’s sustainability criteria. They safeguard a continuous flow, take fish migration into account, and leave suitable habitats for aquatic species.
- With regard to bioenergy (for the production of electricity, biogas and heat) we only accept the use of organic waste from agriculture, municipalities and industry, and specific types of woody biomass (excluding roots, stumps and large logs). These resources must be used in 100% renewable energy installations.
- We also approve all types of renewable gas that are made through the conversion of renewable electricity to gas (power-to-gas), such as green hydrogen, if the renewable electricity used for gas production fulfils our sustainability criteria for electricity.
3. Additionality through new clean energy projects and promotion of renewable energy
Using the EKOenergy label leads to real change in various ways.
When you use EKOenergy-labelled electricity, gas or heat, a minimum of 0.10 € (ten Eurocents) per MWh goes to our Climate Fund. With these contributions, we finance clean energy projects in remote communities in developing countries. In this way, we make sure that your demand for EKOenergy-labelled energy leads to new renewable energy installations in places where they are needed the most.
All projects that we finance are selected through a transparent process and contribute to the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These climate projects are one of EKOenergy’s ways to ensure additionality, i.e. that your green power purchase leads to additional benefits.
All consumers of EKOenergy-labelled energy also help us raise awareness of sustainability issues and promote renewable energy worldwide. As an initiative of environmental organisations, we organise clean energy campaigns and advocate for climate-friendly legislation.
4. Auditing and verification
EKOenergy’s Secretariat organises an annual audit to verify that sold/used EKOenergy-labelled volumes fulfil all the requirements listed in EKOenergy’s criteria. The audit is based on facts and figures that are certified or confirmed by public authorities and/or reliable third-party certification organisations. More information can be found in the text EKOenergy – Governance structure and criteria for electricity.