Quality and Security

Internationally recognised certification

As a clearing agency, AGCS is obliged by law - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other legal obligations - to use market participants' data in an information-secure and accurate manner for the settlement processes. Data must be confidential, accurate and available in accordance with the C.I.A. (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability) principle.

The high level of information security and a robust level of data security are achieved by the interlocking of technical measures and the application of a quality management system. AGCS maintains an internal control system (ICS) to record all relevant business processes and their related risks.

AGCS considers safety and integrity in its activities as highest values. Accordingly, AGCS holds internationally recognised certifications in the areas of quality and safety, which are also applied to the Biomethan Register Austria:

AGCS is certified by TÜV NORD CERT GmbH to confirm that it operates a management system in accordance with the requirements of DIN EN ISO 9001 : 2015 and in line with the ISO/IEC 27001 : 2013 standard.

User roles of the Biomethan Register Austria

The Biomethan Register Austria is an account-based and role-based system with an individual master data model. The specific role allocation of the market participants is prerequisite for the precise allocation of rights and functions to specific user roles. There are five types of company roles:

  • biomethane production operators, owner of plants which inject into the Austrian gas grid;
  • electrification plant operators (using biomethane withdrawn from the gas grid), owner of plants which produce renewable electricity by using biomethane withdrawn from the Austrian gas grid,
  • auditors, companies or persons who are active as civil technical experts within the meaning of § 8 para 3, third sentence, ÖSG 2012 (Renewable Power Act) or companies or persons who work according to the sustainability criteria of a voluntary scheme recognised by the European Commission and who assess plants and produced energy volumes,
  • registry users (traders), companies that wish to trade biomethane certificates or that market biomethane to consumers and are registered as market participants in the Austrian gas market model,
  • and special entities such as Austrian Settlement Agency for Renewable Power (OeMAG Abwicklungsstelle für Ökostrom AG).

Ownership transfer of biomethane certificates

Biomethane certificates for energy amounts from injected biomethane can change ownership to represent and document the businesses and trades between market participants. A dedicated transfer function allows the ownership transfer of energy amounts of any size (on kWh or MWh basis). Within the scope of this ownership transfer, all properties of the original certificate, such as injection point, production plant and the specific properties of the plant itself, are also transferred. Each certificate, original certificate with total monthly production quantity as well as each split certificate of partial production quantitiy, contains the properties and is documented in the database of the Biomethan Register Austria by means of a unique identification number. The registry operator may trace the ownership transfers from initial creation – auding, splitting, transferring – to final consumption and withdrawal from the database (certificate cancellation).

Quality assurance in the Biomethan Register Austria

AGCS ensures quality and security via a multi-level auditing system:

  • Market participants have to undergo a registration process which includes a detailed validation on company registration, profile and business operation by the registry operator.
  • Biomethane production plants have to undergo an initial plant audit by a third-party auditor as part of the registration process.
  • Injection data are based on metering values which are delivered to the balancing group coordinator by grid operators.
  • Biomethane certificates are issued by the balancing group coordinator as neutral party of the energy market.
  • Biomethane certificates are checked by independent auditors as part of an annual audit. Auditors are granted access rights by the respective biomethane plant operator to their issued biomethane certificates. Consequently, these authorised auditors have the right to include audit annotations in the corresponding biomethane certificates. It is also possible to attach an audit report as PDF to the corresponding biomethane certificates in the registry system.

Compliance with technical security standards is achieved via the following criteria:

  • personalised access with password exclusively for users authorised by the account holder (as part of registration process),
  • exclusive access via encrypted connection (SSL).