What is a REC?


Supporting renewable energy programs is a great way to reduce the environmental impact of energy production. RECs, or renewable energy certificates, are a useful tool as more individuals and companies are shifting to a greener way of life. There are many ways to support renewable energy and buying RECs is just one way. But what is a REC, how does it work and what exactly are the benefits? 

What is a REC?
RECs are a market-based instrument that certifies a certain amount of the electricity delivered to the electric grid is from a renewable source. Each REC represents the environmental impact of 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated from renewable energy. Once that energy is delivered to the grid, RECs can be sold as a commodity on the open market and are used to track renewable energy from its source (solar, wind, biomass, or hydro) all the way to someone who purchases green power. 

For example, if a solar facility produces 10 MWh of electricity, the producer has 10 RECs they can either sell or keep. If the solar facility chooses to sell them, residential and commercial customers may purchase RECs through programs like Entergy Green Select to supplement their electricity usage. The RECs verify that megawatt-hours came from a renewable source and cannot be claimed by another person or business. 

How RECs are produced
A REC is produced when one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity is delivered to the grid from a renewable energy source. Those RECs are then available to be sold to others. 

Every REC is uniquely numbered and generally includes information such as the date of generation, the generation location, and the type of renewable resource it came from. Each REC is recorded and tracked to its purchaser and can only be used or counted by one electric customer. This allows companies who buy renewable power to demonstrate how much of their power use comes from renewable sources.

How RECs work 
The grid can accept electricity from many different sources, including wind, solar, natural gas, hydroelectric, and nuclear power. With so many ways power can enter the grid, how can anyone tell the source of their electricity? Purchasing RECs with your electricity is currently a key way to trace the origin of the grid power that you use to a renewable energy source. 

Benefits of RECs 
RECs are tracked through established organizations (such as the North American Renewables Registry) and provide the customers with proof of a renewable energy use and demand source. RECs are an easy and affordable way to trace the origin of the power you get from the grid to a renewable energy source without the expense of installing solar panels or another renewable technology to supply your home or business. Buying RECs is a great way to support renewable energy sources, while reducing the environmental impact of your energy use. You can buy RECs through Entergy Green Select today.

Entergy’s Approach to RECs
Entergy Louisiana has heard from many of our customers that they desire options related to meeting their sustainability goals. Entergy Green Select is just one type of renewable option we are developing for Entergy Louisiana customers.  The program is Green-e certified.  Green-e is a certification developed the Center for Resource Solutions that verifies the integrity of RECs through the entire chain of custody, so customers can be confident in their purchase. Green-e certification ensures that renewable energy sourced by Entergy Louisiana is from facilities that meet the Green-e requirements and is delivered exclusively to the purchaser of the REC, meaning not double-counted. 

Entergy is committed to providing our customers with renewable energy that can be made available quickly, easily, and affordably. We are constantly working for solutions that keep our customers happy and our world healthy.

Interested? Enroll in Green Select today.

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