How do I know my green power purchase is actually green?
Renewable energy certification is available from Green-e® Energy. When purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs), make sure your purchase is verified and certified by Green-e®. Suppliers of certified renewable energy must disclose the quantity, type, and geographic source of each renewable energy certificate. Green-e® also verifies that the renewable certificates are not sold more than once or claimed by more than one party.
What is Green-e® Energy?
Green-e® is the largest consumer protection program in the United States for renewable energy certification. Green-e® has established a standard to certify and verify RECs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions for the retail market. Green-e® is administered nationally by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions.
How does renewable energy certification ensure REC purchases actually reduce GHG emissions?
In certifying green power, Green-e® confirms renewable energy projects are actually delivering energy to the grid. For every megawatt-hour delivered to the grid, Green-e® certifies one REC that may be sold in the marketplace.
How is electricity delivered to the grid?
When a renewable energy facility operates, it creates electricity that is delivered into a vast network of transmission wires, often referred to as “the grid.” The grid is segmented into regional power pools; in many cases these pools are not interconnected. To help facilitate the sale of renewable electricity nationally, a system was established that separates renewable electricity generation into two parts: the electricity or electrical energy produced by a renewable generator and the renewable “attributes” of that generation. The renewable attributes or “green” attributes are sold separately as RECs. The electricity that was split from the REC is no longer considered “renewable” and cannot be counted as renewable or zero-emissions by whoever buys it.