FAQs about feed-in remuneration (KEV) at cost and certificates of origin

What is the compensatory feed-in remuneration at cost?

The compensatory feed-in remuneration at cost (KEV) is a Swiss federal tool that is used to promote electricity generation from renewable energies. It guarantees that the producers of electricity from renewable sources receive a sales price that meets their production costs. KEV applies to plants from 10 kW upwards that operate on the following technologies: Hydroelectric power (up to 10 MW), photovoltaic systems, wind energy, geothermal energy, biomass and waste from biomass. The compensatory feed-in remuneration at cost fund is financed by all electricity consumers, who pay a levy per kilowatt-hour used. The power generated by plants covered by the KEV scheme is distributed to all households and cannot be traded further. In electricity disclosure statements, this power is labelled as “subsidised electricity”.

Smaller plants with up to 10 kW capacity receive a one-off investment subsidy (one-off compensation) of up to 30% of the investment costs of a reference plant. For plants between 10 and 30 kW capacity, it is up to the plant operator whether to register for KEV subsidies or one-off compensation. Plant operators can freely trade the added environmental value of plants for which the one-off compensation has been paid.

Why buy power products from renewable energies despite the availability of the compensatory feed-in remuneration at cost (KEV) system?

In 2013, the electricity subsidised by the Swiss federal government under the KEV scheme accounted for only 2.4% of the power mix supplied. By buying eco-power or power products from renewable energies, you determine yourself what portion of your electricity consumption you wish to cover from renewable energies or eco-power. If you buy naturemade-certified eco-power products, you additionally support the construction of new solar, biomass and wind power plants and the rehabilitation of rivers and habitats.

What does certificate of origin mean?

The Swissgrid certificate of origin (HKN) provides a guarantee for the origin of electricity generated by showing the power plant and energy source from which electricity is generated. Proof of origin certificates are issued per kilowatt-hour produced to ensure that power volumes sold in a certain quality do not exceed the volumes produced in that quality. Certificate of origin must be provided for plants with a capacity above 30 kVA. Certificate of origin certificates do not entail any quality or environmental requirements regarding energy production, but state whether energy is naturemade-certified.