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How Do RECs Work?
A renewable energy credit (REC)—also sometimes referred to as a renewable energy certificate or green tag—is created for each megawatt-hour (1 MWh, or 1000 kilowatt-hours) of renewable electricity generated and delivered to the power grid.
What is a REC?
When renewable energy is generated by wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and certain hydropower sources, two things are created: (1) the actual electricity, and (2) the environmental benefits associated with the fact that the electricity was produced without burning fossil fuels like coal or natural gas. RECs are the way those environmental benefits or “attributes” are tracked and accounted for.
Why purchase them?
In an ideal world, we would all have small wind farms or solar panels that generate exactly the amount of energy we need to power our lives. But let’s face it, that’s pretty tough to do. By purchasing RECs, you are supporting clean energy and displacing emissions associated with fossil fuel-powered electric generation.