Corporate demand for green energy is one of the main reasons the industry is thriving. While many businesses acknowledge that “going green” is a good idea, it may not be practical or affordable for them to obtain all of their energy this way. Though renewable power costs are falling year after year, they are still higher than most energy sources based on fossil fuels and will be for the next few years.
What Are RECs?
RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates or Credits) are an alternative to investing in solar panels and other methods of generating some “green” power for businesses that want to align their company values of sustainability, etc., with their actions.
RECs are “Certificates” or “Credits” that stack up to symbolize a number of MWh of power purchased from renewable sources. Those sources could be solar, wind, tidal, or any number of allowed sources. The specific criteria of what is allowed to make up a REC can vary slightly from state-to-state.
They can only symbolize this power as all electricity is the same once it enters the grid – it couldn’t be filtered out by type. However, by buying renewable energy, the extra money you are paying for a REC will go back to whatever producer provided the renewable energy you received the certificate for.
How Are RECs Produced and Tracked?
If you are interested in where the energy powering your business comes from, chances are you already track your usage with an energy monitoring dashboard and keep your usage in-check. You realize how important this kind of accountability is for the health of your business.
The energy companies that produce RECs know this, too. As RECs allow a business to purchase energy from anywhere in the US, transparency is critical to maintaining the integrity of the process. All of the information about where a certain amount of power comes from as well as how it was produced should be available at the time of purchase.
What are the Benefits of RECs for Businesses?
- Cost Effective – RECs have no initial investment costs, like setting up solar panels would. Further, they allow any business to choose what they can reasonably afford and increase the amount of renewable energy they buy
- Social and Environmental Responsibility – If you purchase enough RECs to offset the power used by your business and follow the process to “retire” them, you can accurately state that your business is powered by 100% renewable sources.
- Reduced Carbon Footprint – The more RECs are purchased, the smaller a corporation’s carbon footprint is.
- Support for the Renewable Energy Market – If your company’s vision is aligned with a sustainable future, then you may want to, ideally, source all of your power from renewable sources. The more you put into RECs, the sooner this may become a reality. The more support the renewable energy market gets, the faster it can grow, the more infrastructure will be put in place, and the cheaper the rates will become.
Article Submitted By Community Writer