What are renewable energy certificates (RECs), and why and when do companies use them? Our experts answer the most common questions about the utility and value of RECs.
This is the fourth installment of the “Renewable Choices” series, guides for turning clean energy into business advantages. Check out previous posts on LEED certification, international markets for renewable energy, and PPAs and EACs.
What is a REC?
RECs are the leading way that companies acquire green power. A REC verifies that one megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable electricity was generated by a clean power facility and added to the electric grid. When the electricity is generated, a REC is created in a simultaneous 1:1 ratio. When bundled with purchased electricity, RECs convey environmental benefits that allow buyers to make green power claims.
Where are REC markets?
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) exist in North America and in emerging international markets worldwide. Interconnected grids—such as the grid shared by the U.S. and Canada—allow for free trading of RECs and REC claims under the GHG Protocol’s Scope 2 Guidance. Green-e® is the primary verification party for North American RECs.
Who buys RECs?
The world’s largest organizations buy Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). When bundled with purchased electricity, RECs allow buyers to make renewable electricity claims for reporting and marketing purposes. As most businesses are unable to source renewable energy directly, they rely on RECs to reduce their Scope 2 emissions, claim environmental attributes of renewable electricity, and meet their sustainability commitments.
How can Schneider Electric and Renewable Choice connect you to RECs?
Our team pioneered the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) market in 2001. We helped Whole Foods Market become the first corporation to go 100% wind powered, and we’ve since worked with thousands of organizations to follow suit.
Our clients return to us year-after-year for our competitive pricing, extensive portfolio Scope 2-compliant options, and a vast array of third-party verified REC products.
For more information on how RECs can enhance sustainability efforts, reach out to the Renewable Choice team.