Smarter Business: Greening Advisor
Purchasing renewable energy
Many states and utilities offer opportunities to purchase renewable energy directly from your utility service provider. Consult Green-e for opportunities in your area.
In areas where you cannot purchase renewable energy through your existing provider, your company may want to consider enrolling in a utility green pricing program or purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs), which ensure that energy providers deliver renewable electricity to the grid that is equal to the amount you consume. Whichever option you choose, you can make sure the renewable energy you purchase meets the highest standards of environmental quality by looking for the Green-e certification. Visit Green-e for a list of REC providers in your state. The EPA’s Guide to Purchasing Green Power is an excellent reference, with step-by-step instructions and lists of available resources.
The cheapest, cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use. Before purchasing renewable energy, consider improving the energy efficiency of your facilities. With the money you save, you can consider investing in renewable energy and still reduce your overall energy bill.
What Are Renewable Energy Credits?
RECs represent an investment in future renewable energy generation projects. Instead of buying renewable energy directly from your electricity provider, purchasers of RECs ensure that renewable facilities deliver clean energy into the grid and displace nonrenewable energy sources. By helping to substitute fossil fuel generation with renewables, your company helps to prevent emissions of greenhouse gases.