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CAEs: What's really behind the four trendy letters

We talk about its origin and the types that exist, find out more!
Written by
Energy Efficiency

Chapter 1: What are CAEs and what do they do here?

Surely you have heard about the CAEs and the revolution that their use and achievement means to reach sustainability goals, but do you really know what they are, how can you achieve them, how are they regulated, what impact do they have, what are their benefits for your company?

Relax, we have set out to solve all your doubts and make you an expert in these key mechanisms for the energy transition. Starting today, we begin to unravel everything that this four-letter word hides behind and all its possibilities. Spoiler: Stay, we also tell you how from Smarkia we promote its achievement for your company.

Although, let's start at the beginning.....

What are CAEs and why are they so important in the energy transition?

Perhaps the simplest question of all that we can ask. Its definition is already well defined. It is an instrument that recognizes the energy savings achieved by companies and individuals who carry out energy efficiency improvement projects. These certificates can be marketed and, therefore, represent an aid that improves the amortization of these investments**.

But why have they become so relevant in recent years?

In a context of energy transformation such as the one we are currently undergoing, the need to change the production model and to opt for renewable sources instead of traditional fossil fuel production prevails, and the search for energy efficiency has spread to all production sectors.  

This is why different mechanisms have emerged to help boost the efficiency of energy consumption and production. Among them, CAEs, a tool with great potential in this area that could become a fundamental ally in this journey towards sustainability.

The CAEs are a great incentive to reduce the energy consumption of large companies and organizations, one of the major goals in the fight for sustainability and one of the most ambitious objectives of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) for the period 2021-2030, which determines an improvement in energy efficiency of 39.6% at the state level.  

How to access them?

The million-dollar question. Once we understand what they are and how they contribute to the long-awaited sustainability, we can consider how to obtain them. And indeed, this is where Smarkia comes into play with all its energy, helping companies to take their energy savings to the next level. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, let's take it one step at a time.  

Before telling you how we participate in this process in a decisive way, we will explain how to obtain these certificates.

First of all, the energy savings must be identified and once identified, they can be transformed into actions that can achieve CAEs. It is important to be clear that there are two types of actions:

  • Standard actions: Probably the easiest to undertake. They are listed in the technical data sheets, which detail both the actions and the number of CAEs that can be exchanged for them. A standard action would be, for example, the replacement of air conditioning equipment in both the tertiary and residential sectors.  
  • Singular actions: The last ones to arrive, the most innovative ones... unlike the standard ones and due to their nature, they are not included in the catalog of fact sheets, as they are "unique" and "particular". However, they are also eligible for the issuance of AECs and are susceptible to having their own data sheet if they have a proven replicable character. These actions, which could include, among others, the EVO or IPMVP protocols, require specific measurements and traceability.

Once the action has been undertaken, it is time to verify the savings, a procedure that must be carried out through a certifying company, which acts as the delegated subject in this process. For certifying companies, it is essential to have data traceability.

And yes, if you know us, surely it has come to your mind that traceability is precisely one of the most powerful features of our platform; although, let's not go so fast...

🤓 A CAE has a single value of 1kWh of final energy consumption savings.

Once the data has been collected, the CAEs must be registered at the regional level in the specific systems for this purpose and, subsequently, in the CAE National Registry. Only when their registration in the registry is complete can they be marketed, a process in which only delegated and obligated parties may participate.

🤓 Only delegated and obligated entities may participate in the commercialization of CAEs.

As a company, why should you go for CAEs?

If you have come this far, it is probably because you are considering (if you have not already done so) improving your energy efficiency and you have considered CAEs as a good way to do so. You are not wrong, as we have already seen, they are an excellent savings measure, but, if you are lacking reasons, here are some more benefits of betting on this energy saving tool:

  • They contribute to achieving the energy objectives of decarbonization.
  • They add up to compliance with your company's energy obligations.
  • Their achievement translates into energy savings in the short, medium and long term.
  • Direct impact on the reduction of operating costs  
  • They are an incentive when it comes to obtaining financing or investments.

And although we'll talk about it at length... yes, we know you're already thinking: okay, so what can the non-conformists at Smarkia do in the world of CAEs?

We don't want to impress you, but... powered by Artificial Intelligence and its algorithms, our platform automates and controls different parameters (heating, cooling, lighting...), detecting possible inefficiencies in the data and correcting them automatically. And yes, you may already know this, but we want to make sure you get a complete picture of what our platform does, if this is the first time you read us (we bet it won't be the last).  

And now comes the best part: what do we achieve? Optimizing variables that allow a constant and automatic improvement that has a direct impact on the generation of CAEs through standard actions (RES040 and TER050).

The fact that our platform is a benchmark for its measurements, for the traceability it offers when acquiring energy data, as well as for the cybersecurity on which it is based, also allows us to facilitate the work of verifiers in the case of singular actions.  

In other words, Smarkia it functions as a gear inside the CAE-producing machine.  

Want to know more? We won't leave you halfway... don't miss our next blogpost, where we will not only go deeper into the agents involved in this ecosystem, but we will also tell you how by implementing a remote management system you can opt to get more CAEs.

** Article 2 of Royal Decree 36/2023, of January 24, which establishes the Energy Saving Certificates system, defines CAE as: Electronic document that establishes the reliable recognition of the annual savings in final energy consumption derived from an energy efficiency action carried out either in accordance with the catalog referred to in Article 18 of this Royal Decree or under the consideration of a singular action.