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You may have heard of a Renewable Energy Certificate before. In short, they are the official record of your clean energy match. However, understanding how these RECs become yours, and help support clean energy around the United States can be more confusing.

Here, we’re going to help you understand the fundamentals of our wind energy program, and RECs more broadly. Read how they can help you support renewable energy, and access clean power for your own home below.

What is a REC?

A Renewable Energy Credit (REC) is a document that certifies the generation of renewable energy. Each certifies one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from a renewable source — such as wind. Prices vary state by state, but each REC purchased represents your ownership of renewable energy produced. If you purchase two RECs, you’ve bought two MWh of renewable energy. If you buy enough to cover your monthly energy usage, you’ve gone 100% renewable energy!

How RECs support wind energy production

When RECs are purchased, it means taking ownership of the renewable power being fed into the electrical grid. Each REC can only be sold once. They are uniquely numbered, recorded, and tracked. Even if the REC generating wind project doesn’t feed directly into your electric grid, purchasing and claiming the power with a REC supports that wind project. This helps the industry broadly, encouraging more renewable energy development around the country.

Who else is using RECs, and are they legitimate?

Yes, they’re legitimate! It’s not just consumers like us who are looking to take advantage of renewable energy. Major companies like Google and Apple, are leading the way by taking advantage of RECs and renewable technologies.

In 2017, Google purchased 3 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity, which matched all of the energy used by their offices and data centers around the world. Them being able to achieve their target of matching 100 percent of their energy use, was due in large part to their purchase of RECs. According to Vox, “the company hit this mark largely by buying renewable energy certificates (RECs), which ensure a certain quantity of wind and solar electricity is allocated to a given use.”

Google was able to purchase so much energy, that they sold it back into markets where they couldn’t consume it. By doing so, they allow for other consumers to take advantage of wind energy production.

Apple on the other hand, prefers a more personal approach when it comes to their REC usage. According to an article from Fast Company, “Apple prefers to buy power from renewable energy projects where the company played some role – by either investing capital up front or committing to buying the power produced there for a long time, sometimes decades.”

This type of dedication shows just how serious Apple is when it comes to renewable energy. This commitment will lead to Apple based renewable energy projects – which will also add jobs to the fast growing renewable energy job market.

Major companies like Google and Apple aren’t the only ones taking advantage of RECs, as small businesses are using aggregated procurement to their advantage. Aggregated procurement allows for several small businesses to unite under one contract for the purchase of RECs. This method will help smaller companies become successful in reducing their carbon footprints, while also taking advantage of the affordable prices that renewable energy offers.

If major corporations and small businesses are investing heavily into RECs and wind energy, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be taking advantage of Arcadia’s wind energy program.

Source: US Environmental Protection Agency

Joining Arcadia’s wind energy program

When you join Arcadia, we automatically source and provide RECs to cover 50% of your energy usage. By doing so, Arcadia is able to guarantee that some of your energy will be matched with from renewable resources. For a small fee, you can upgrade to 100% wind energy — securing enough RECs to cover your entire month’s electricity usage.

This also means that anyone can access and support clean power — whether they own or rent any home or apartment!

To reduce your carbon footprint, all you have to do is signup to Arcadia’s Wind Energy Program. When you visit Arcadia, you’ll see just how serious we are about supporting sure wind energy and other renewable power sources across the country.