The Ordinance of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) governing the certification of production method and origin of electricity entered into effect at the end of 2006. This means that there are clearly defined legal and non-discriminatory requirements governing the certification of origin of electricity in Switzerland which are in line with the relevant EU regulations. These requirements facilitate international trading in electricity produced from renewable energy sources, and ensure that the electricity consumed by end users can be traced back to its origin. Certificates of origin therefore serve as the basis for electricity labelling: since 2006, all electricity supply companies have been required by law to provide their end users with information about the delivered electricity mix. Labelling enables end users to assess the supplied electricity on the basis of quality criteria. Swissgrid is responsible for the issue of certificates of origin.
An arbitration board (steering committee) deals with complaints relating to the use of the Swiss system of certification of origin in accordance with the above mentioned DETEC ordinance. Its main duty is to settle disputes as quickly as possible in a fast and efficient out-of-court procedure.