Question: I work with a small-industrial business and I’ve been hearing a lot about Renewable Energy Credits. What exactly are Renewable Energy Credits and how can they help my business?

Answer: Good question! The short answer is that Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), also known as Renewable Energy Certificates, Green Tags or Tradable Renewable Certificates, allow your business to invest in “green” energy without having to build up the infrastructure to support operations. As suggested by Renewable Choice, limited natural resources and upfront capital are both barriers to setting up shop in your own backyard – and that’s where RECs come in.

Who can buy RECs?

According to Advanced Green Technologies, RECs can be sold to utility companies who meet mandated renewable energy portfolio standards or (in certain markets) to organizations who want to meet a specific renewable energy goal. If for example, green power is not available for purchase in your region, RECs can help offset the consumption of fossil-based fuels.

How do RECs work?

According to David Suzuki, electricity generation is one of the world’s largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Purchasing RECs is one way that your business can help lower those emissions.

RECs are normally sold by renewable energy providers in kilowatt-hours or megawatt-hours, and have the same environment impact as buying electricity; for every unit of electricity generated from a renewable-energy project, a corresponding REC can be sold. While there is no way of knowing which electrons have been purchased since all electricity is mixed once on the grid, businesses can be sure that their money has been directed towards the purchasing of “green”, renewable power.

How will your business benefit from buying RECs?

Whether your business wants to find new ways of increasing sustainable efforts or has to make changes in order to meet regional compliance standards, buying RECs is a great way to “green” your business without having to make too many changes to existing infrastructure and operations.

Moreover, according to Green website Host, RECs act as an incentive and subsidy for developers who want to invest in further renewable energy projects such as energy farms, biomass facilities, small hydroelectric power projects, geothermal projects and photovoltaic/solar projects. This means that by branding your business as energy conscious, you simultaneously let stakeholders (including customers and partners) know your company cares about the environment while ensuring the continued development of renewable energy for everyone to enjoy.

Questions or comments about Renewable Energy Credits? Leave them below!

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