Amazon, Google, Facebook, General Motors, Proctor & Gamble, IKEA and more mega-corps are investing mega-bucks in wind energy. A boon for the environment and the bottom line, should your business be buying in by investing in a wind turbine?
Blown Out of Proportion
These corporate giants aren’t investing in a single turbine, but larger, more encompassing wind farms for the production of massive megawatts. And thanks to in-part to this recent trend and changing consumer sentiment, wind power has recently soared to the top of the list as the largest source of renewable energy in the nation. In addition to projects in the private sector, utility-scale wind-farms now exist in 41 states and offshore. However, most small to medium sized businesses, and even many larger ones, simply don’t have the finances, real estate, expertise, or incentive to delve into such a massive undertaking. But that doesn’t mean your plans for investing in wind power are blown. There’s another way…
Renewable Energy Credits
Also called renewable energy certificates, RECs, or green tags/certificates, renewable energy credits are one of the simplest and most direct ways to support green power sources. Helping your business support renewable energy generation and meet clean energy goals, RECs are a representation of energy generated by renewable sources, such as wind, but are not the same as buying wind electricity for direct use by your business. Because electricity in the grid comes from multiple energy producers and sources, purchasing a renewable energy credit means renewable energy is being generated on you/your business’ behalf, and the ‘renewable aspects’ of the renewable energy are transferable to you, the owner/purchaser of the credit.
Are RECs Right for Me?
Renewable energy certificates work best for business who:
- Want to know the source their energy comes from.
- Wish to support renewable energy options.
- Are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact.
- Are striving to meet environmental goals.
- Are unable to integrate solar panels or other renewable energy technology at their business.
How Much Do Renewable Energy Credits Cost?
RECs are available as renewable energy providers generate one megawatt-hour of electricity for delivery to the grid. One certificate = one megawatt-hour. Anyone can buy them. Uniquely numbered, tracked, and recorded (like a dollar bill), once sold, they cannot be re-purchased. They can, however, be traded. The money invested in RECs makes renewable energy more competitive with energy produced by fossil fuels, encouraging renewable energy production. The cost of RECs varies based on the market you are in:
REC costs are lower in voluntary markets, largely in the southeast, where electricity providers and consumers can voluntarily support renewable energy initiatives.
Costs are higher where electrical utility providers are required to purchase RECs according to state regulations: 29 states and Washington, D.C.
Where Can I Purchase RECs?
You can purchase RECs directly from over 850 utilities in the U.S. that have green power programs at a cost of about 1-2 cents per kWh. You can also purchase them from independent third parties from facilities anywhere in the U.S., from local or out-of-state suppliers, looking for those with Green-e® certification. Green-e® certified RECs ensure strict environmental and consumer protections, assuring power is produced by a true renewable energy facility, and RECs have not been claimed by more than one party or ‘double-counted’ towards meeting a state’s renewable energy goals.
Options for making your business a little greener making your blue? Avoid falling victim to these Common Misconceptions about Going Green, while taking advantage of other earth-friendly solutions that may be beneficial to your business. Learn how with the help of Mr. Electric today.