The Alternate Impact Team
Purchase Renewable Energy Certificates for Your Home
Updated: Apr 25, 2020
Our transition away from fossil fuels needs to happen quicker, and this starts with investing in renewable energy, which is easier than we may think.
Why We Need to Invest in Renewable Energy
Energy sources are classified into two groups: renewable (solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal) and nonrenewable (petroleum, natural gas, coal, nuclear). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, renewable energy sources made up just 11.5% of America’s energy supply in 2018. Renewable energy production is expected to increase at a rate of just 1.3% between 2018 - 2050; at this rate, it will make up 13% of America’s energy supply in 2050. Our transition away from fossil fuels needs to happen quicker, and this starts with investing in renewable energy.
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
Both renewable and nonrenewable energy enters the same electric grid, so it is hard to guarantee that the energy you receive in your home is green. And while we can't all have solar panels on our roofs, we can purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
RECs represent electricity generated by renewable energy sources, including wind power, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, etc. When these renewable energy sources generate one megawatt-hour (MWh) of power they can sell two things: (1) the electricity and (2) an REC. Essentially, RECs represent the social and environmental benefits of renewable energy, putting a positive economic value on clean generation. Purchasing RECs is one way to encourage the growth and adoption of green power and help renewable energy providers stay competitive against fossil fuels.
How Do I Purchase RECs for My Home?
Many utility companies will sell them to you directly, allowing you to purchase the amount of RECs equal to your personal electricity consumption. But you can also purchase RECs outside your utility provider through companies like terrapass.