Why buy green power?
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are the way that every U.S. organization, college, business, and individual consumer can purchase renewable ("green") energy to reduce your environmental impact.
When you purchase RECs, you are neutralizing carbon that effectively takes cars off the road and helps to pay for the construction of more sources of renewable energy. RECs may also be called green tags, green credits, renewable certificates, renewable credits and Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRCs).
When electricity is generated using renewable resources instead of using fossil fuel sources such as coal, oil and natural gas all of the environmental attributes (ie reduction of carbon dioxide emissions) are represented by the REC. Purchasing RECs pays for renewable electricity generation, which can lessen the need for conventional electricity generation.
RECs were created and are recognized by the US EPA as a way that buyers can "go green" without being directly connected to a green power source and without switching to new electricity provider. Buying Green Power from your utility or any supplier means you are buying RECs plus regular electricity. When buying from your utility or another supplier, RECs are purchased on your behalf. Through either method, the purchased RECs clear the air by offsetting emissions from regular fossil fueled power plants. They also help the US move toward better sustainability of our girds, better energy security, more energy independence and growth of our domestic economy.
When you purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), you will receive:
1. EPA Green Power Partnership Welcome Kit*
2. EPA Green Power Partnership Agreement*
3. Certificate of Environmental Stewardship
4. Energy Facts Label
5. Estimated Environmental Benefits
*Business customers meeting EPA Green Power Partnership eligibility requirements
The Case for Renewable Energy
Electric power production is the single largest contributor of harmful greenhouse gas emissions in our nation. Ninety-Eight percent of the electricity generated comes from the burning of fossil fuels coal, oil, and natural gas. The burning of these fossil fuels produces harmful greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and sulfur dioxide) which foul the air we breathe and are the leading causes of global warming, smog, and acid rain.
How it all Works
Renewable Energy Credits, also known as RECs, make the benefits of renewable energy easily accessible to any commercial and national chain account location in the nation. When a renewable generator produces electricity, it banks the beneficial environmental attributes that are produced in the form of a Renewable Energy Credit (REC). The ownership of the environmental attributes is then transferred to the buyer of the REC giving the buyer all of the benefits associated with clean, renewable energy.
RECs Benefits are Substantial
Greening up electricity usage through Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) is simple, cost-effective, and positions the company as a good steward of the environment.
Making the transformation to Green for energy consumption will strategically position the company for any future mandates on greenhouse gas mitigation policies.
Making the transformation to Green for energy consumption will help insulate your company against unfriendly activists, i.e., creating a public relations hedge.
A green energy policy will differentiate the company from its competitors, confirming them as a true industry leader in sustainable business practices.
A RECs purchase will allow the company to make substantiated marketing and public relations claims about the amount of greenhouse gas emissions the company has off-set through their renewable energy purchase.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides assistance and national recognition to companies that demonstrate environmental leadership by choosing green power. The greening up of a company's electrical usage through renewable energy credits can qualify the company to become a recognized member of The EPA's Green Power Partnership Program, making them eligible for all of the public relations benefits and national prestige accorded this designation.
Opportunity for Business
Businesses recognize the impact that a commitment to environmental sustainability can make on corporate goodwill, brand imaging, product differentiation, and the immense opportunity for public relations momentum among customers, media and interested stakeholders. An investment in cleaner renewable energy is an important aspect of any corporate social responsibility initiative. Recent examples include Starbucks, Staples, McDonalds, Kohls, Office Depot, Liz Claiborne, and Whole Foods, to name a few.