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Criteria of the EKOenergy ecolabel

wind turbines in harmony with nature

EKOenergy is renewable, and much more…

This page outlines the criteria that electricity and gas have to meet in order to qualify for our ecolabel.

The full criteria is listed in our founding document ‘EKOenergy – Network and label‘, approved by the EKOenergy Network and downloadable in more than 20 languages. The original text, which focuses on marketed electricity, has later been supplemented with criteria for renewable gas and criteria for self-production.


1. Reliable tracking and avoiding double counting

EKOenergy is renewable, green energy. To prove that, we require that the origin of the energy is reliably tracked and excludes double counting of environmental attributes (i.e. we are absolutely sure that only 1 person or company can claim the same MWh of renewable energy). Therefore, we only accept instruments that fulfill the quality criteria of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 Guidance. In Europe, this has to happen via the Guarantees of Origin system, as regulated by European legislation. In Northern America we use RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates). Elsewhere we accept national schemes or I-RECs. The production and consumption of energy has to take place within the same market boundaries.


2. Sustainability

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 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 covers the following:

  • Wind energy and solar energy can be sold as EKOenergy-ecolabelled electricity if the installations are located outside protected nature areas and outside important bird areas. The same rules apply to electricity from geothermal installations and from marine energy installations
  • EKOenergy-labelled hydropower comes from installations that that fulfill EKOenergy’s sustainability criteria. They safeguard a continuous flow, take into account fish migration and leave suitable habitats for aquatic species.
  • For bioenergy, we only accept the use of organic waste and woody biomass (excluding roots, stumps and large logs). At least 50% of the fuel used in the installation has to come from EKOenergy-eligible biowaste and only an equivalent proportion of that produced energy can be sold as EKOenergy. The bioenergy must also be used in installations with a minimum efficiency of 75%.
  • For biogas, EKOenergy only accepts fuel sourced from residues i.e. waste from agriculture or forestry rather than from energy crops (i.e. plants grown specifically for the purpose of biogas). We also approve ’power-to-gas’ if the electricity used in the gas production fulfills our electricity sustainability criteria.


3. Additionality through new clean energy projects

Using the EKOenergy label leads to real change. Through your demand for EKOenergy labelled energy, new installations are born where they are needed the most.

When you buy EKOenergy ecolabelled electricity or gas, a minimum of 0.10 € (ten eurocents) per MWh must go to our Climate Fund. This finances clean energy projects in remote communities of developing countries. By choosing EKOenergy you effortlessly contribute to concrete change that wouldn’t happen otherwise.

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.


4. Auditing and verification

The EKOenergy ecolabel is based on audits and verification made by national and regional authorities. If the necessary information is not available, an external independent auditor checks if EKOenergy’s requirements are fulfilled. More information about our auditing criteria can be found in the text ‘EKOenergy – Network and label’.