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How many green certificates am I entitled to?

Last updated on 30 March 2020

A private individual who generates green electricity receives, by default, one green certificate for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity generated, which reduces CO2  emissions by 217 kg. These certificates are awarded for 10 years, starting from the date of certification of the installation.

in Brussels, a multiplication coefficient enables consumers to receive even more green certificates for photovoltaic installations. This system guarantees that everyone is able to recoup their investment in 7 years. Since 2011, a multiplication coefficient has also been applied to cogeneration installations, making them much more attractive for collective housing.

How do I calculate the number of green certificates I will receive?

By default: 1 green certificate per 1,000 kWh

A 30 m² photovoltaic installation produces an average of 3,000 kWh per year in the Belgian climate. Theoretically, it therefore entitles the consumer to three green certificates.
These green certificates are awarded for 10 years starting from the date of certification of the installation. They are valid for 5 years.

The multiplication coefficient

For photovoltaic installations in Brussels, this benefit is increased by means of a multiplication coefficient.

Every year, the Brussels government decides the value of this multiplication coefficient, taking into account the average price of the panels, the price of electricity and the price of the green certificate:

  • a new grant rate will be announced in April 2020. The new conditions will only apply to new installations. The new system provides for 6 different power categories (instead of the current two), which will give rise to different grant rates for green certificates.
  • for installations certified as of 2 August 2013, consumers receive 2.4 or 3 green certificates (depending on the power of the installation) for every 1,000 kWh of electricity generated.
  • for installations certified between 20 October 2012 and 1 August 2013, consumers receive 4 green certificates for every 1,000 kWh of electricity generated
  • for installations certified between 1 July 2011 and 20 October 2012, private consumers receive 5 green certificates for every 1,000 kWh of electricity generated.
  • Was your photovoltaic installation commissioned before 1 July 2011? Then you should use the old calculation model.

Brugel recalculates the multiplication coefficients every year in September, in order to maintain a flat-rate return on investment of 7 years for photovoltaic panels and of 5 years for the eligible cogeneration installations. With this system, everyone has the guarantee that their installation will pay itself back in 7 years, regardless of when consumers decide to invest in these technologies.

How do I get my green certificates?

Your generation is displayed on the special meter that you had to have fitted to your installation. Every quarter, submit the figures to Sibelga.be/greenmeter. Sibelga then sends them to Brugel, which allocates the green certificates you are entitled to.

What makes green certificates so interesting?

Faster amortisation

Thanks to the green certificates, people who invest in green energy (photovoltaic) systems or less polluting (cogeneration) installations receive a subsidy proportional to the production capacity of their installation. This allows them to recoup their investment much faster.

Tax advantage

Green certificates are a source of income that is not taxed if the production of electricity is limited to your personal consumption

Who do I sell my green certificates to?

To sell your green certificates in Brussels, you have 3 options.

1. Resell green certificates to an energy supplier

To reach their minimum annual quota of green electricity sold in Brussels, suppliers sometimes have to buy green certificates on the market. If they fail to do so, they are fined €100 per missing green certificate.

In 2019, this quota was 9.2%, and this percentage increases every year. In addition, the energy suppliers in Brussels are obliged to buy green certificates from Brussels-based consumers first before they can buy them in other regions.

You can sell your certificates to any supplier active in Brussels, but bear in mind that some of them pay their own customers a better price.

2. Resell green certificates to an intermediary

Intermediaries are brokers who bundle green certificates from small producers and negotiate their sale with energy suppliers. Some PV installation companies offer this service to their customers.

Compare their offers carefully, as the buy-back conditions can be very different. Some take a commission on the sale, others buy your green certificates at a slightly lower price than the market price, etc.

List of energy suppliers and intermediaries for the purchase of green certificates in Brussels

3. Resell your green certificates to Elia

A regulation allows you to sell your green certificates to Elia, the transmission system operator, at a guaranteed minimum price of €65 per green certificate. This is less interesting than the average prices offered by suppliers and intermediaries. 

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