Green Term Defined: Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)


The Solarize movement is strong in both the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville. The cost of Solar PV has dramatically dropped over the last few years and with this group buying power, the cost has never been lower.

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So now a big decision needs to be made, do you sell your RECs or not. A Renewable Energy Certificate (RECs) is the environmental attributes of your green power that are sold separately  from the electrons that makes up the electricity. RECs is essentially the selling of the creation of green power to another entity that is not actually using that power in order to give them credit for green power usage.

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So why is this a big decision? It can make your cost of Solar PV lower as it now generates a small income while also providing you with clean power. However, the entity that is purchasing your RECs continue to rely on fossil fuels for their power source. So if you are converting your electric usage to clean energy for environmental reasons, it is a hard decision to make. It may make it affordable so you can install the solar array in the first place, but it does not reduce our national dependence on fossil fuels.

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