ABOUT ENERGY STAR PARTNER RESOURCES

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What is a REC? Follow

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are the tradable, legal rights to the environmental benefits of green power. These rights can be sold separately from the actual electricity (kWh).  In order for power to be considered "green," and to see the benefits of green power in your metrics, you must own the RECs.

You can obtain RECs in 3 ways:
  1. You generate onsite green power (solar or wind energy). For each meter entry, you must specific the REC ownership as: Owned, Arbitrage*, or Sold.
    • You only get to count the benefits of green power in your metrics if you retain ownership of the RECs.
    • *REC arbitrage is when you sell the RECs that are associated with your onsite system and purchase other RECs as replacements. In this case, you cannot claim that your onsite system electricity generation is green. You may, however, claim the benefit of offsite green power associated with the replacement RECs you purchased.
  2. You purchase green power from your utility. This is considered offsite green power.
  3. You purchase RECs independent of your physical electricity. These purchases are typically made at a corporate level and are often not traceable to individual buildings. You cannot currently track these unbundled RECs at the portfolio level, but you may enter these purchases as offsite green power if you are able to attribute them to individual properties.

For more information, refer to our technical reference on Green Power.

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