Many modern businesses now have sustainability goals, including a necessity for “green” energy. Many energy supply companies offer products that allow customers to buy “green” energy, sometimes at little or no additional cost. These can be achieved through various means, such as participation in a community solar program, or through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates that offset their energy usage.
Renewable Energy Certificates (REC’s)
With many businesses now having sustainability goals, nearly every one includes a necessity for “green” Energy. Most of these businesses offset 50–100% of their electricity by acquiring REC’s.
A REC (Renewable Energy Certificate), is proof that electricity has been generated from a renewable source – such as solar or wind farms – on behalf of your home or business. These can be purchased for either a portion or your entire electric load. The same bill comes from the utility company, but the RECs ensure electricity will be generated from renewable resources.
When purchasing REC’s, energy suppliers can allocate these directly from renewable generators, which generate this “Green” electricity on your behalf. These REC’s demonstrate the ownership rights to the environmental, social, and economic benefits of renewable generation.
Fortune 500 companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon “Go Green” by doing exactly this – purchasing REC’s to offset their energy usage. Today, 60% of Fortune 500 companies have set greenhouse gas emission goals.
In fact, if you saw the recent Budweiser commercial promoting their wind power generation, its accomplished through REC’s.
Community Solar provides businesses an opportunity to participate in a shared solar project to purchase renewable electricity, as well as save money on their electric bills. They can do this without having to purchase or install solar panels of their own.
Community Solar — also known as Community Distributed Generation (CDG) — is a large solar array built and hosted by a nearby landowner. The array is comprised of a variety of different members who subscribe to a small percentage of it.
Members of a Community Solar Project are given a percent of the project’s total electricity production. On each bill, credits are generated based on how much solar power is produced and the value of that solar power.
A big benefit of community solar is that it not only fulfills sustainability goals, but it also offers cost saving benefits to the members. In fact, a typical small business using ~100,000 kWh annually could be eligible for $550–750 in annual savings from credits.
A portion of these credits are collected for the developer to fund and maintain the project, and the remaining credit is passed along to the end user to reduce their electric bill.
Residential, commercial, and industrial energy users all qualify to participate, including both renters and property owners. All members must be located in the same utility territory where the project is located.
Benefits of “Going Green” through REC’s & Community Solar
- Reduce carbon footprint
- Supporting the Clean/Green renewable Energy market
- Promote your company’s commitment to renewable energy & sustainability
- Using renewable electricity without installing or owning solar panels
- Positive brand image