Green-e certifies new way for consumers to support renewable energy

26 March 2002 – The Centre for Resource Solutions (CRS) announced today that Green-e certification is now available for tradable renewable energy certificates (TRCs)–also known as “green tags.”

Green-e assures consumers who purchase certified TRCs that their dollars will support generation from high-quality, newly developed renewable energy plants. Since 1997, Green-e has served as a nationally recognized tool to help consumers identify environmentally superior electricity offerings.

TRCs are created when renewable energy is substituted for traditional power. TRCs represent the environmental benefits of renewable energy generation in the form of a marketable commodity. Renewable energy is sometimes more expensive than buying traditional power so TRCs are purchased in addition to the electricity that most consumers now use. Purchases of TRCs allow renewable plants to be built where cost is lowest, while their positive attributes are delivered to customers anywhere. Buying TRCs allow consumers to create similar environmental benefits to buying green power: reduced dependence on burning fossil fuels to produce electricity and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollution.

TRCs are an innovative market mechanism with potential to greatly expand markets for renewable energy, because customers can purchase them from anywhere regardless of where renewable electricity is being produced. “TRC markets mean more customers can support clean renewable energy at lower cost,” said Dr. Jan Hamrin, Executive Director of CRS, which manages the Green-e Program, “and providing certification for high quality TRC products means customers can buy with confidence that they are helping make the renewable energy industry grow.”

Over one hundred organizations and stakeholders around the country worked collaboratively for over a year to develop the Green-e certification standards that were finalized by Green-e’s governing body, the Green Power Board. TRCs certified by Green-e will directly support generation from newly developed renewable energy facilities–facilities that generate electricity from the sun, the wind, the heat of the Earth, small hydropower, or organic fuels (biomass). “TRCs will help renewable energy developers find the best customers for their products regardless of where the actual generating facility is located,” said Karl R. Rabago, Green Power Board chair. Rabago added, “Green-e Certification means customers will have more choices of high-quality projects and products they can choose to support.”

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