Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), through its Green-e® certification programs, certified nearly 69 million megawatt-hours in retail transactions in 2019, representing an overall increase of 11% compared to 2018 sales. This is the highest number of certified retail MWh to date, and enough to power two out of five U.S. households for a month.

Summary

 

Green-e® Energy certified retail sales reached almost 69 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2019, the highest number of certified retail MWh to date. The Center for Resource Solutions currently certifies over 1.8% of the total U.S. electricity mix, or enough to power two out of every five of U.S. households for a month. Almost half of the installed wind capacity in the U.S. is participating in Green-e® Energy certified transactions , and 2019 saw over 6.1 million MWh come from solar generation, over 60% more than 2018. Almost half of the energy supplying certified sales came from facilities less than 5 years old. In 2019 there were over 1.6 million retail purchasers of Green-e® certified renewable energy, including over 113,000 businesses. 2019 saw increases in sales and customers of certified utility green pricing products, REC products (including PPA/VPPA products), and community choice aggregation products, resulting in all-time highs for each of those certification categories—more retail customers than ever before are purchasing Green-e® Energy certified products.

 

As the global retail standard for carbon offset certification, Green-e® Climate brings chain-of-custody oversight to the voluntary offset market. Green-e® Climate provides critical retail protections and assurances for buyers, sellers, and project standards, including confidence in product marketing and overall quality.

Green-e® Climate certified more than 691,700 carbon offsets in 2019, which is an all-time high. Additionally, more Green-e® Climate certified offsets were sold into international markets than ever before.

 

Green-e® Marketplace verifies that the renewable energy purchased or generated by Participants meet the strict environmental and consumer protection standards of the Green-e® Energy certification program, and that each Participant purchases qualifying amounts relative to electricity usage. Green-e® Marketplace licenses the Green-e® logo to Participants for use with their renewable energy claims. Since 1997, the Green-e® logo has served as a nationally recognized symbol to help consumers identify superior, certified environmental commodities.

The total number of Green-e® Marketplace companies participating in 2019 was 26. At the end of 2019, there were approximately 700 products certified by Green-e® Marketplace.

Program Reports

GREEN-E® ENERGY

Green-e® Energy is the leading certification program for voluntary renewable energy products in North America. On behalf of consumers buying renewable energy products certified by Green-e® Energy, the program requires that such products undergo an independent annual audit to demonstrate compliance with the Green-e® Energy program’s rigorous consumer protection and environmental standards. The Green-e® Energy program requires that sellers of certified renewable energy products provide full and accurate information to their customers, deliver the renewable energy they promise, and source from renewable energy generators that meet the Green-e® Energy program’s resource eligibility requirements, developed by stakeholders and the independent Green-e® Governance Board over 20 years.

As the public’s awareness of the impacts of pollution arising from electricity generation, energy security issues, and sustainable economic development has risen, the demand for renewable energy has increased greatly, as shown here. In fact, voluntary certified renewable energy sales in the U.S. have increased an average of 12% each year since 2015. When the Green-e® Energy program began in 1997, it was the first certification program of its kind, and it has remained the most respected renewable energy certification program in North America.

Green-e® Energy Certified Options

Green-e® Energy certified renewable energy products are sold in the following different options:

Green Pricing Programs. Renewable electricity sold by electric utilities in regulated electricity markets, offered in addition to the renewable electricity included in standard electricity service. Includes Green Tariffs offered to larger commercial or industrial customers.

Competitive Renewable Electricity. Similar to a green pricing program, but sold by an electric service provider (ESP) in a deregulated electricity market.

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). A REC represents the non-electricity, renewable attributes of one MWh of renewable electricity generation, including all the environmental attributes, and is a tradable commodity that can be sold separately from the underlying electricity. RECs allow for a larger and more efficient national market for renewable energy. The REC product type includes PPAs for which only the REC portion of the purchase is certified as well as VPPAs.

Community Choice Aggregation. Also known as Municipal Aggregation, CCAs allow cities and counties to aggregate customers in a regulated market within a defined jurisdiction to secure alternative electricity supply contracts on a community-wide basis.

Direct and On-Site Certification. Direct Purchasing is a purchase made directly from renewable generators as an alternative to purchasing from a utility, competitive electricity supplier, or a renewable energy certificate marketer, while On-Site renewable energy is consumed at the same location where it is produced.

Green-e® Energy Participant Overview

317 companies participated in Green-e® Energy in 2019 including 72 sellers offering 83 Green-e® Energy certified REC products, 228 utility green pricing program participants offering 44 certified green pricing programs*, 8 competitive electricity suppliers offering 15 certified renewable electricity programs, 9 Community Choice Aggregation sellers offering 11 products, and 5 entities with 6 different certified Direct or Onsite options.

*Retail Distributors not listed

 

  • Apple Singapore
  • Apple, Inc.
  • Austin Energy
  • Avangrid (formerly Iberdrola Renewables)
  • Azalea Solar, LLC
  • Blue Delta Energy, LLC
  • Blue Spruce Energy Services
  • Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF)
  • Calpine Energy Solutions, LLC
  • Carbon Solutions Group (CSG)
  • CBL Markets
  • Champion Energy Marketing, LLC
  • City of Las Vegas, NV
  • City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU)
  • City of San Jose
  • Clean Power Alliance (CPA)
  • CleanPowerSF
  • Clear Energy Brokerage & Consulting, LLC
  • ClimeCo
  • CMS Energy
  • Community Energy, Inc.
  • Constellation NewEnergy
  • Cypress Creek Renewables
  • Direct Energy
  • Dominion Virginia Power
  • DTE Energy
  • Duke Energy
  • Dynegy
  • East Bay Community Energy (ECBE)
  • East Coast Power & Gas, LLC
  • ECOHZ
  • EDF Energy Services
  • Engie Generation North America
  • ENGIE Resources (formerly Suez Energy Resource NA, Inc.)
  • Fathom Energy
  • First Climate Markets
  • FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.
  • Good Energy
  • Green Mountain Energy Company
  • Green Power EMC
  • Greenlight Energy Group LLC
  • Idaho Power Company
  • Indianapolis Power & Light Company (AES)
  • J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation
  • JEA
  • Just Energy
  • Kiwi Energy
  • LG&E and KU Energy (formerly E.ON U.S.)
  • Liberty Power
  • Luminant Energy Company, LLC
  • MC Squared Energy Services
  • MCE Clean Energy
  • Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc
  • MidAmerican Energy Company Energy Trading
  • MidAmerican Energy Services
  • Moffett Solar 1, LLC
  • MP2 Energy
  • NativeEnergy
  • Natural Capital Partners
  • NextEra Energy Resources, LLC
  • Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO)
  • NRG Business Solutions
  • NV Energy
  • OneEnergy Renewables
  • Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)
  • PacifiCorp
  • PacifiCorp Rocky Mountain
  • Peninsula Clean Energy
  • Pine Gate Renewables, LLC
  • Platte River Power Authority (PRPA)
  • Portland General Electric (PGE)
  • Powerex Corp
  • Puget Sound Energy (PSE)
  • Reliant Energy
  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
  • San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
  • Santee Cooper
  • Schneider Electric (formerly Renewable Choice Energy)
  • Seattle City Light
  • Silicon Valley Clean Energy
  • Silicon Valley Power – City of Santa Clara (SVP)
  • South Plains Wind Energy II, LLC
  • Southern California Edison (SCE)
  • SP Cactus Flats Wind Energy LLC
  • Spring Power and Gas
  • Steelcase Inc.
  • Sterling Planet, Inc
  • Swiss Carbon Assets
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • TXU Energy
  • Vivorex LLC
  • We Energies
  • Westar Energy, Inc.
  • Western Farmers Electric Cooperative
  • WGL Energy Services
  • WPPI Energy
  • Xcel Energy

Consumer Protection

The Green-e® Energy verification audit and review process protects customers by ensuring that the renewable electricity or RECs purchased and sold by the certified provider were not sold to more than one customer and that only one party has claimed use of that MWh of renewable energy. Replacement RECs are required when supply that has been submitted is ineligible for certification under the Green-e® Renewable Energy Standard for Canada and the United States. Common reasons for ineligible RECs are double claims (meaning another entity in the chain of custody has claimed to be using the renewable energy) and product-specific restrictions (such as variation from the geographic-proximity requirements of electricity products). In 2019, the Green-e® Energy audit identified a negligible amount of reported supply as ineligible for Green-e® Energy certification which would necessitate procurement of replacement supply by participants. This is due to a sustained market education outreach by Green-e® staff and increased due diligence on the part of Green-e® Energy participants in procuring supply.

Green-e® Climate

The Green-e® Climate program is the global retail standard for carbon offset certification, bringing chain-of-custody oversight to the voluntary offset market. The Green-e® Climate program provides critical retail protections and assurances for buyers, sellers, and project standards, including confidence in product marketing and overall quality.

Certified sales in 2019 reached an all-time high. Green-e® Climate certified just over 691,700 mtCO2e (metric tons carbon dioxide-equivalent) in 2019, up from 496,000 in 2018.

Green-e® Climate Certified Sales (in mtCO2e)

Residential purchases of Green-e® Climate certified offsets grew by almost 5,000 mtCO2e in 2019 while almost 95% of certified sales in 2019 were to commercial buyers. Sales of bundled natural gas-carbon offsets accounted for 7% of overall certified sales. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification, which requires Green-e® Climate certification (or equivalent) for offsets that can be awarded points for LEED certification, is a primary driver of certified sales, although smaller than in past years. About 33% of certified sales in 2019 were sales for LEED building certification.

International sales of Green-e® Climate certified offsets continued to be an important segment of sales in 2019. The total volume of international certified carbon offset sales stayed consistent with 2018 at about 87,000 mtCO2e. However, the number of countries where certified offsets were sold slightly increased. Buyers were located in Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, and the United States (21 countries, up from 18 last year).

International sales of Green-e® Climate certified offsets (in mtCO2e)

Green-e® Climate Bundled Sales

  • Unbundled (93%)
  • Bundled (7%)

Share of Certified Sales for LEED Building Certification

  • LEED (33%)
  • Non-LEED (67%)

2019 also saw a diverse mix of projects provide carbon offsets to Green-e® Climate certified sales. Industrial gas abatement projects were almost two thirds of overall supply at 62%. Overall, 26 different projects supplied offsets to Green-e® Climate certified sales; half were landfall gas capture projects.

MTCO2e by Project Type

  • Landfill Gas Capture (10%)
  • Renewable Energy (23%)
  • Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (5%)
  • Industrial Gas Abatement (62%)

Count of Unique Projects

  • Landfill Gas Capture (50%)
  • Renewable Energy (27%)
  • Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (12%)
  • Industrial Gas Abatement (11%)

Green-e® Marketplace

Green-e® Marketplace recognizes organizations that use renewable energy and carbon offsets and enables them to demonstrate their environmental commitment to their stakeholders through the use of the nationally recognized Green-e® logo and additional promotional tools. In 2019 the Green-e® Marketplace program welcomed Bank of America, Bigelow Tea, and Rock Canyon Coffee. Bank of America has purchased enough Green-e® certified renewable energy to match 100% of its North American operations, and Bigelow Tea is labeling many of its tea boxes and filter bags. Rock Canyon Coffee, a Colorado based coffee roaster, has certified the production of its coffee products.

Overall, Marketplace participants purchased or generated approximately 2,281,500 MWh of renewable energy in 2019, which is enough to power over 273,000 households for a year.

Figures

The charts below are interactive. Click on the items in the legend to change the display.

Green-e® Energy Certified Retail Sales by Product Type (MWh)

In 2019, Green-e® Energy certified retail sales totaled 68,973,000 MWh, an overall increase of 11% compared to 2018 sales. Green-e® Energy certified sales have increased at an average rate of 12% per year over the past four years. REC sales, either in the form of standalone RECs or in a power purchase agreement or virtual power purchase agreement, continue to drive the majority of certified sales and grew by 9% in 2019. Certified sales through green pricing programs offered by regulated utilities grew by 4% compared to 2018, while customers in regulated markets purchasing through a CCA purchased 168% more MWh than in 2018, primarily due to a major CCA in California joining the Green-e® program, as well as the general growth we’ve seen in CCA programs for the past couple of years. Total certified competitive electricity sales grew by 13%, mostly due to a few one-time large commercial purchases. Direct and Onsite certified MWh dropped slightly from 2018, from 1.1 million to 1.04 million certified MWh.

Note: The “RECS, PPAs, and VPPAs” category includes all certified REC transactions, including RECs that are part of PPA and VPPA deals.

Green‑e® Energy Certified Sales by Customer Type (in MWh)

Sales by customer type grew about 9% from 2018 for residential customers and 11% for non-residential customers, with the latter accounting for the vast majority of certified MWh purchased at more than 62.4 million MWh. MWh sold as certified wholesale transactions increased by 47% from 2018, and residential sales reached more than 6.5 million MWh as more utilities increasingly seek Green-e® Energy certified green pricing options for their customer and more communities launch their own CCAs. Although there are significantly more residential customers that purchase Green-e® Energy certified renewable energy, they tend to purchase smaller amounts than non-residential customers.

Number of Retail Customers Purchasing Green‑e® Energy Certified Products by Type

2019 saw by far the largest amount of total retail customers purchasing certified products with an overall increase of 30% compared to 2018. The number of customers enrolled in a certified green pricing option has shown steady growth over the last couple of years, while the number of customers enrolled in a certified CCA offering increased by 259% from 2018 to a total of 456,000 customers, mainly due to a few large CCAs joining the Green-e® certified program. We also saw surprising growth in the amount of competitive electricity customers, which doubled from 2018 to 2019, primarily due to the expansion of certified competitive electricity programs in the Northeast

Note: The “RECS, PPAs, and VPPAs” category includes all certified REC transactions, including RECs that are part of PPA and VPPA deals.

States With Green‑e® Energy Certified Renewable Electricity Options

Many customers throughout the U.S. have the option to purchase Green-e® Energy certified renewable energy through their local utility or electric service provider. In 2019, bundled certified renewable electricity options were available in 34 states and Washington, DC.

RECs unbundled from electricity are available to buyers regardless of location. Businesses purchasing large MWh volumes tend to purchase unbundled RECs, often from multiple locations, while residential customers and businesses purchasing smaller volumes tend to purchase a bundled electricity product available through their utility or electric service provider.

Contributions of Renewable Resource Types to Total Green‑e® Energy Certified Retail Sales

2019, Green-e® Energy sales came from a range of resources across the United States and Canada. The resource mix of the voluntary market continues to be wind-dominated in 2019 with wind facilities accounting for 84% of the total supply. Output from almost half of installed wind facilities in the U.S. is sold in Green-e® Energy certified transactions, based on total capacity.  Just 3 years ago, solar made up less than 1% of supply in certified sales. Solar energy consumption has grown exponentially the past couple of years and increased its share of the market by 63% from 2018 to 2019, almost 23 times bigger than in 2016. Solar now represents nearly 9% of the overall mix. Non-gaseous biomass is 5% of the overall mix, while gaseous biomass, hydro, and geothermal are all 1% or less.

Total Number of Facilities by Resource Type

1,136 unique generation facilities with a total capacity of over 70,000 MW supplied Green-e® Energy certified products in 2019. The number of solar facilities used to supply Green-e® Energy certified products continues to grow at a fast pace. If we count rooftop solar buyback programs offered by electricity providers as 1 facility for each provider, the number of unique solar facilities utilized in 2019 reached 633 unique facilities, or nearly half of all facilities. Total solar capacity utilized grew exponentially, from 3,820 MW to almost 20,000 MW, which is a magnitude of 6 and reflects more reliance on larger, utility scale solar developments. Wind still compromises the majority of overall capacity at just over 68%. Overall, 61 more facilities were used in 2019 compared to 2018.

Megawatt-Hours by Facility Date of First Operation or Repowering

Only new renewables are eligible to meet Green-e® Energy standards. In North American, that means eligible renewable facilities must have started operation or have been declared repowered in the last 15 years, or otherwise been approved for extended use in order to provide generation to a Green-e® Energy certified product. In 2019, a little less than half of the MWh used to supply certified sales came from facilities that were less than 5 years old at the time. That showcases how cost effective it is to build new renewables, but also how much new build is being used for voluntary purposes.

Count of Facilities by Year of First Operation or Repowering

Newer facilities also provided a large portion of generation to certified sales in 2019. Facilities 5 years or younger also made up more than 40% of all facilities that provided any amount of MWh to Green-e® Energy certified sales, which is a little bit less than 2018. This may be due to the policy outlook impacting certain states at that time – some states may have had rebate programs or tax incentives that were implemented at that time, or may have been pursuing compliance targets aggressively and, therefore, have surplus generation to contribute to the voluntary market. It may also show the preference of corporate buyers for their monetary investment to be the determining factor in getting a new generator built.

Total Green‑e® Energy Certified Sales of Renewable Energy by Product Type and Customer Type (in MWh)

Residential (Retail)Non-Residential (Retail)Wholesale
RECs, PPAs, and VPPAs750,00054,159,00015,062,000
Green Pricing4,402,0003,017,000
Competitive Electricity127,0002,420,0006,195,000
Direct 1,034,000
Community Choice Aggregation1,282,0001,782,000
Total Sales6,561,00062,412,00021,257,000

The total volume of all Green‑e® Energy certified transactions in 2019 reached more than 90 million MWh. This total represents all transactions, including both certified retail sales to electricity end users looking to make a green power use claim, and wholesale sales to resellers of renewable MWh that did not claim the renewable electricity or RECs themselves. Green-e® Energy certified retail transactions reached almost 69 million MWh while certified wholesale transactions exceeded 21.2 million MWh in 2019. Of these certified wholesale transactions, around 8.5 million MWh were resold in certified retail transactions. The remaining 12.7 million MWh were sold in non–certified transactions to utilities, electric service providers, power marketers, and other buyers in the voluntary market, a 40% increase from the 9 million MWh sold in non-certified transactions in 2018.

Removing the instances of renewable MWh certified by Green-e® Energy at both the wholesale and retail levels, certified sales of over 81.6 million unique MWh were made in 2019, an increase of almost 15% from 2018 and the highest total of certified unique MWh to date

Note: The “RECS, PPAs, and VPPAs” category includes all certified REC transactions, including RECs that are part of PPA and VPPA deals.

Top 10 States by Retail Sales Volume

State% of Total Sales
CA13%
WA10%
TX9%
NY6%
OR6%
AZ5%
DC4%
MD3%
IL3%
PA3%

The Green-e® Energy program collects data on the number of retail customers by state and the MWh of certified products provided to them. The top 10 states in terms of sales volume have remained relatively constant over the past few years and are typically states with big, sustainable-minded corporate entities. In 2019, California was the state with the highest volume of MWh for certified retail sales.  The top 10 states represent just about 2/3 of the total volume of certified retail sales.

2019 also marked the second year that sales outside of North America were certified—the program certified sales to Singapore under the Green-e® Renewable Energy Standard for Singapore for the first time.

Percent of Total Retail Customers by State (Includes REC Sales)

State% of Customers
OR20%
CA14%
WA7%
NY6%
TX6%
UT5%
CO5%
MN5%
MI4%
WI3%

Retail customers buying Green-e® Energy certified renewable energy are spread throughout the U.S. 3/4 of retail customers were located in these top 10 states in 2019. The growth of CCAs in CA has seen CA’s share increase in the past year.

There is a large degree of overlap between these two “Top Ten” lists, however the key point of difference lies in the purchase size of residential and non-residential customers. The states with the highest volumes have more non-residential customers.

Top Ten States and Provinces Supplying Renewable Energy to Green-e® Energy Certified Retail Sales by Percent of Total Certified MWh

State/Province% of Total
TX33%
OK20%
ND7%
KS6%
IA4%
NM3%
FL3%
ID3%
MN2%
SD2%

84% of the renewable energy certified by Green-e® Energy was sourced from 10 states. Supply from Texas and Oklahoma combined accounts for 56% of the total supply of renewable electricity certified in 2019. This is primarily related to the high wind content in many certified products, and the high rate of potential for (and installation of) wind facilities in the Midwest and Southern states such as Texas and Oklahoma. The difference between states with generators versus purchasers of renewable energy demonstrates how the market for PPAs, VPPAs, and unbundled RECs is allowing customers with limited access to local renewable energy products to support changes in generation portfolios in the US and Canada.

Supply for Green-e® Energy Certified Retail Transactions

Sales of Green-e® Energy Certified Retail Transactions

Green-e® Energy Certified Sales of Renewable Energy Certificates (including PPAs & VPPAs Certified as RECs) by Customer Type

2019 Sales (MWh, rounded)MWh: % Change from 2018% of Total Retail REC Sales Customers
Residential750,0001%1.4%167,100
Non-Residential54,159,0009%98.6%29,800
Total Retail54,909,0009%100.0%196,900
Wholesale15,062,0004% 121

Certified REC sales continue to steadily climb, with across the board growth in terms of total retail REC sales of 9% experienced in 2019 over 2018. The market is still driven by non-residential customers, the number of which increased by 6% from 2018. The number of residential customers purchasing unbundled RECs actually dropped in 2019, meaning those who do purchase are purchasing higher amounts of MWh. Corporate customers are also purchasing higher amounts of MWh.

Green‑e® Energy Certified Sales in Green Pricing Programs by Customer Type

2019 Sales (MWh, rounded)MWh: % Change From 2018% of Total Green Pricing Sales Customers
Residential4,402,0000%59%853,800
Non-Residential3,017,00011%41%19,900
Total Retail7,419,0004%100%873,700

Many customers can purchase a bundled renewable electricity product from their local electric utility. Utility green pricing programs certified by Green-e® Energy consistently make up the majority of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Top Ten rankings in terms of customer participation rate, total number of subscribers, total MWh sold, and green power sales as a percentage of total retail electricity sales. In 2019, these programs grew at a steady rate of 4% from 2018. There was minimal change in the total amount of residential customers and growth of certified green pricing sales, and the average purchase size remained at 5 MWh. Non-residential customers slightly increased their average purchase from last year with a 3% increase in the number of non-residential customers. There is now more Green-e® Energy certified renewable energy sold through green pricing programs than ever before, covering an increasingly large area of North America.

Green‑e® Energy Certified Sales of Electricity by Electric Service Providers by Customer Type

2019 Sales (MWh, rounded)MWh: % Change From 2018% of Total Competitive Electricity Retail SalesCustomers
Residential127,000-48%5%42,700
Non-Residential2,420,00029%95%4,400
Total Retail2,547,00020%100%47,100

In 2019, we saw competitive electricity products purchased by more residential consumers than in 2018, but the overall number of MWh that residential customers purchased actually dropped by almost 50%. We did see more corporate customers purchasing more MWh in competitive markets like TX, and it will be interesting to watch and see if that trend continues over the next few years.

Green-e® Energy Certified Sales of Community Choice Aggregation Providers by Customer Type

2019 Sales (MWh, rounded)MWh: % Change From 2018% of Total CCA Retail SalesCustomersCustomers: % Change From 2018Average Purchase Size (in MWh)
Residential1,282,000102%42%397,500249%3
Non-Residential1,782,000251%58%58,900353%30
Total Retail3,064,000168%100%456,400259%7

Also known as Municipal Aggregation, CCAs allow cities and counties to aggregate customers in a regulated market within a defined jurisdiction to secure alternative electricity supply contracts on a community wide basis. As more states adopt legislation that allows the establishment of CCAs, Green-e® Energy has seen growth in terms of customers served by CCAs and MWh supplied to those customers. Residential participation in certified CCA programs grew 3.5 times larger in 2019 while non-residential customers grew by 4.5 times. The overall sales for both customer types grew significantly, doubling for residential customers and growing by 3.5 times for C&I customers.