Also known as renewable energy certificates, green tags, green energy certificates, or tradable renewable certificates, RECs represent the technology and environmental attributes of electricity generated from renewable sources. Renewable energy certificates are usually sold in 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) units. A certificate can be sold separately from the megawatt-hour of electricity it is associated with, and represents the “green” portion of green power. This flexibility enables customers to offset a percentage of their annual electricity use with certificates generated elsewhere.

Not necessarily. Although we can’t promise the renewable energy you buy will go directly to your home or business, we can guarantee that the clean energy you have purchased has been added to the power grid. Although your clean energy is mixed with energy from different sources, you can be assured that each MWh of green energy purchased displaces the equivalent amount of brown power. As more RECs are bought, the renewable energy content of the electricity increases. An increased demand for RECs also spurs new renewable generating facilities.

No. The actual dollars spent on renewable energy are not tax deductible.

Absolutely not. Our actions affect the environment in all sorts of ways, and RECs are one way individuals can take responsibility for that impact. RECs provide a clean energy alternative for people/organizations interested in proactively and practically addressing climate change issues.

Prices depend on many factors, such as the location of the facility producing the RECs, current emissions regulations, and even the type of power created.

3 Phases Renewables undergoes annual audits under the Center for Resource Solutions’ (CRS) Green-e program. CRS, an independent auditor, ensures each REC purchase is valid. Buyers of RECs receive a certificate with the Green-e logo, indicating the RECs acquired on their behalf were properly generated and used. This is your assurance that your RECs are real and have only been counted once.

When a renewable energy facility sends electricity to the grid, less electricity needs to be generated from fossil fuel plants. Those plants then burn less fuel and less pollution overall is generated. This includes not only CO2 emissions, but also many other pollutants such as Sox, NOx, mercury, and carbon monoxide.

Green Power is the combination of electricity with a REC.

In a green power transaction, a utility buys renewable energy from a qualified generator. This electricity is delivered into the power pool, where it mixes with all the other electricity being generated at the time. Finally, the power is delivered to the customers of that utility. The mix of “green” and “brown” power is actually shared by everyone but the environmental attributes are credited to the customers who have paid to create that benefit.

In a Green Tag transaction, electricity delivery does not change. But, the electricity is sold into the grid as if it were “normal” or “generic” power, not “green” power. No environmental claims can be made for this energy because the holder of the REC has claim to the “green” part of the green power. So, the mix of power is still shared by everyone but the environmental attributes are credited to the people who have paid to create those benefits.

Renewable power sources are those that rely on “renewable” resources, rather than fossil or nuclear fuels. Renewable power sources include solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and small hydroelectric installations.