Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Claims and Ownership
The owner and user of a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is the only party that can claim the environmental benefits of that REC and claim to be using renewable energy because of that REC. Naturally, issues of REC ownership, validity of certain claims and avoiding double counting are central to a robust voluntary renewable energy market.
Center for Resource Solutions staff have developed the documents below in order to address common questions about ownership and claims of RECs. If you have a related question that is not covered in these documents, please feel free to suggest a topic to add; see our Contact page.
Claims Guidance Documents
- Guidelines for Renewable Energy Claims: Guidance for Consumers and Electricity Providers. Claims guidance for consumers and electricity providers.
- Best Practices in Public Claims for Green Power Purchases and Sales. General claims guidance (based on the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides).
- Best Practices in Public Claims for Solar Photovoltaic Systems. Considerations when selling RECs from on-site renewable electricity systems such as solar photovoltaics.
- Solar Energy on Campus
- Solar Energy on Campus (Part I: Renewable Energy Usage Claims). A description of RECs, why they are important, and what kinds of statements can be made depending on who owns them.
- Solar Energy on Campus (Part II: Solar Purchasing Options and Communicating Renewable Energy Use). The solar purchasing options available to higher education institutions, and the fundamental components of each deal that affect REC ownership, claims, and the environmental value of solar investments.
- Solar Energy on Campus (Part III: Key Considerations for Solar Developers Working With Higher Education Institutions). Best practices for developers marketing renewable energy products to customers, some of the risks and consequences associated with misleading marketing, and additional factors that solar developers need to consider when creating a marketing strategy and associated materials.
- Solar Energy on Campus (Part IV: Community Purchasing Campaigns and Renewable Energy Usage Claims). A look at Solarize Campaigns, a community solar option available to higher education institutions.
- Explanation of Green-e Energy Double Claims Policy. Detail on how Green-e Energy assesses statements related to renewables to determine whether they constitute double claims.
- Best Practices for Marketing Community Solar Programs. Guidance for developers marketing community solar programs to retail customers, including best practices, example marketing statements, and case studies.
- Braslawksy, et al. (2016). Making credible renewable electricity claims
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2016). Guide to Purchasing Green Power
- State of Vermont. (2015). Guidance for Third-Party Solar Projects
- US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). (2012). Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims; Final Rule
- US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). (2015). Solar Power for Your Home
- The White House, Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). (2015). Implementing Instructions for Executive Order 13693 Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade
- The White House, Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Guidance (2016) (also see Rev. 1, 2012).
- World Resources Institute (WRI). (2015). GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance