A Beginner’s Guide to Renewable Energy Certificates: What You Need to Know


Renewable energy is a rapidly growing industry, with more and more individuals and businesses looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and support sustainable energy sources. One popular way to do this is by purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs). If you’re new to the world of RECs, it can be confusing to understand what they are and how they work. This beginner’s guide will break down the basics of renewable energy certificates and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about incorporating renewable energy into your life or business.

What are Renewable Energy Certificates?

Renewable energy certificates, also known as renewable energy credits, are a tradable, market-based instrument that represents the environmental benefits of renewable energy generation. When a renewable energy generator produces one megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy, they can create one REC to represent the environmental attributes of that MWh. These certificates can then be sold on the open market to individuals or businesses who want to support renewable energy generation and offset their carbon emissions.

How Do RECs Work?

When a renewable energy generator produces electricity, the electricity is fed into the grid and mixed with electricity from other sources, such as fossil fuels. In order to claim the environmental benefits of renewable energy, a generator must separate the renewable attributes of their generation and sell them as RECs. Purchasing a REC is a way for an individual or business to support renewable energy generation and claim the environmental benefits of that generation without directly purchasing renewable electricity.

It’s important to note that buying RECs does not mean that the electricity you use in your home or business is directly from renewable sources. Instead, it allows you to support renewable energy generation and claim the environmental benefits of that generation.

Why Should You Consider Purchasing RECs?

By purchasing renewable energy certificates, you are supporting the growth of renewable energy generation and reducing your carbon footprint. This is an important step in addressing climate change and transitioning to a more sustainable energy system. Additionally, many businesses and organizations are setting renewable energy targets and using RECs to meet their sustainability goals.

How to Purchase RECs

There are numerous ways to purchase renewable energy certificates. Many electricity suppliers and renewable energy companies offer RECs as part of their renewable energy products. Additionally, there are independent brokers and online marketplaces where you can purchase RECs directly from renewable energy generators. When purchasing RECs, it’s important to look for certificates that are certified by reputable organizations, such as Green-e, to ensure that you are supporting legitimate renewable energy generation.

In conclusion, renewable energy certificates are a valuable tool for supporting renewable energy generation and reducing your carbon footprint. By purchasing RECs, you can play a role in transitioning to a cleaner, more sustainable energy system. Whether you’re an individual looking to offset your carbon emissions or a business working toward sustainability goals, RECs are a practical and effective way to support renewable energy. With the information provided in this beginner’s guide, you now have the knowledge you need to start integrating renewable energy certificates into your life or business.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply