What is a Renewable Energy Certificate?
A Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) issued through a government authorized tracking system is a document that certifies that one megawatt hour (MWh) of "renewable" electricity was generated by an approved facility. The final owner of the REC is allowed to "claim" that 1,000 kilowatt hours of the electricity that they use in their home or business came from a "renewable" source. (1 REC = 1,000 kWh = 1MWh)
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energy certificates are a feel-good scam !
A Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) should specify the following information...
What is the point?
Many people and organizations are willing to pay more for electricity that has been produced in a cleaner, environmentally friendly "renewable" way. For a business or a person to ethically (and legally) claim that they purchase green energy, they must either switch their actual electricity service to a supplier that actually holds the certificate or, if that is not possible, they must purchase and hold the certificate themselves. The certificates simply allow their final owners to legally claim that they use renewable electricity. Once that claim is made, the certificate is "retired" and cannot be resold and additional claims cannot be made.
Most RECs have been purchased by utility companies who are obligated by law to maintain "portfolios" of energy production that includes a certain percentage of "renewable" energy. Unfortunately, rather than actually producing electricity from "renewable" sources, the utilities merely purchase Renewable Energy Certificates in order to be able to legally claim that they have a certain percentage of "renewable" energy in their portfolio.
Many other RECs are purchased by corporations for the social credibility that they believe it provides. They often attempt to use it as a marketing ploy to...
What are some examples of prices for Renewable Energy Certificates?
There are those who think that it might not be such a great choice...
Many people believe that it would be far better to directly invest in renewable energy projects such as rooftop solar or energy conservation measures on a smaller local basis. One might consider purchasing stock at the next public offering of a "green" energy company. If one truly wants to merely purchase paper certificates as a "feel good" solution to a very serious problem, below is a chart which shows how the prices have changed through the previous years.
Environmental Protection Agency and the certification organization
Green-E both maintain lists of actual energy producers who are
certified to receive and sell Renewable Energy Certificates.
Many people argue that RECs should only be purchased directly from the
"renewable" energy suppliers themselves. The purchase
of RECs from a broker or marketing agent does very little to directly
support the businesses that actually generate renewable energy. If you
purchase certificates from brokers, sales agents or any other
middlemen, much of the money does not actually make it to the people
responsible for actually helping to make America more energy
independent. The following links provide some very important
Gray Areas In Your Green Power