The Italian white certificates scheme took effect in January 2005. The command and control component of the scheme, i.e., the energy efficiency obligation, was introduced with the implementation of the first European directives on the liberalization of the electricity and natural gas market (Ministero dell'Industria, del commercio e dell'artigianato. Legislative Decree of 16th March 1999, n.79, 1999; Ministero dell'Industria, del commercio e dell'artigianato. Legislative Decree of 23rd May 2000, n. 164, 2000), in the form of a public service obligation (PSO) raised on distribution companies. The market-based component, the trading of energy efficiency certificates (EECs), was introduced by the government in mid-2001, together with the definition of the level of the obligation and of the other elements of the policy package. In the following three years the regulatory authority for electricity and gas (AEEG) designed the implementing technical and economic regulation governing the system through an extensive public consultation. During the same period, a revision of some of the basic elements of the scheme was also carried out, in order to take into account some institutional changes (i.e., new shared responsibilities between the federal government and regional administrations in the energy policy field), as well as some improvements suggested by the regulator. In December 2007, some components of the mechanism were updated on the basis of the results achieved and of the critical issues that emerged during its implementation (Ministero delle Attivita Produttive (MSE). Ministerial Decree of revision and update of the Ministerial Decrees of 20the July 2004, 2007). Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.
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