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What are Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)?
Renewable energy certificates (RECs) allow businesses and individuals to claim the environmental benefits created by renewable power projects even when green energy is not abundantly available nearby. Officially, a REC represents the “property rights” to the benefits of an amount of renewable energy produced.
One REC represents one megawatt-hour of renewable energy generation from a source such as wind or solar. Therefore, when you purchase RECs through Sterling Planet, you support the creation of renewable energy by providing a demand signal to the market, which encourages more renewable energy production.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Verification ensures that RECs are authentic and not double counted. It ensures that once a REC is retired, it cannot be resold and is an important part of making sure the RECs you purchase represent the benefits they claim to embody. All Sterling Planet RECs are 3rd party verified.
Growing the renewable economy
The purpose of RECs are to support operating renewable energy projects as well as create demand for additional renewable generation projects in the market. Every time REC is purchased it sends a demand signal to the economy that says, “We want more clean energy!” The market responds by building more renewables, such as wind and solar, to meet those demands.
WHO PURCHASES RECS AND GLOBAL EQUIVALENTS?
BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS
- To reduce the environmental impact of their electricity use to meet individual and company-wide sustainability goals
GREEN BUILDING PROFESSIONALS
- To qualify for LEED® points through offsetting the environmental impact of the electricity used in their buildings
- To offer their customers through voluntary programs to meet demand for green power
Renewable Energy Services
The RECs in Green America are verified and certified by Green-e, and the seller of a Green-e Energy certified product is required to disclose the quantity, type and geographic source of each certificate. Green-e Energy also verifies that the renewable energy certificates are not sold more than once or claimed by more than one party. For information on Green-e Energy please visit its website, www.green-e.org
EKOenergy certification is accepted by LEED for building certification and CDP for Scope 2 reporting. EKOenergy started in 2013 in Europe and is gradually increasing its global reach. Every member organization appoints one person to the EKOenergy Board, the Network’s highest governing authority. The Board takes decisions in consultation with the Advisory Group, which consist of experts from different stakeholder groups, including electricity industry, consumers and environmentalists, among others.
Businesses are meeting the challenge to decarbonize their operations in order to reduce their GHG emissions. It is nearly impossible for even the most energy efficient and sustainable organizations to completely avoid activities that result in emissions which negatively impact the environment. Organizations can take immediate action on the GHG emissions that are otherwise difficult to address by investing in sustainability projects.