Renewable Energy Certificates(RECs), also known as “green tags,” are proof that 1 megawatt (MW) of renewable energy was generated and delivered to the regional power pool, and they represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects. RECs are sold separately from the electricity commodity.<br><br>
For every unit of renewable energy generated and delivered to the regional power pool, an equivalent amount of RECs are created representing a tracking mechanism to insure that no two customers pay for the same unit of renewable energy generation. When you sign up for Pure Power, Ameren Missouri contracts for RECs to match the equivalent of your ongoing electrical needs or the number of Pure Power "Blocks" you elect to purchase. Thus, the more RECs that are sold, the more demand is created for renewable power. As renewable facilities sell out their RECs, demand shifts to bring more renewable energy sources online.<br><br>
New renewable energy sources are being constructed across the United States to meet the demand created for renewable energy. Your purchase of RECs benefits the environment by encouraging greater renewable energy generation and displacing non-renewable generation from the electricity system.<br><br>
RECs are traded daily but the pricing depends on many different variables, including what types of renewable resources count in a particular state, traditional issues of supply and demand, whether the purchase is made under a long-term contract versus on the spot market and the overall geographic origination of the REC.<br><br>
In March of 2009, a four-year contract was put in place that now provides volumes sufficient to cover 100% of demand for all Pure Power customers through 2012. The contract is with Farmers City Wind in Missouri and was signed prior to the wind farm coming on line. The purchase of RECs through Pure Power was one item that helped bring the project on line.
Over 750 utilities offer a renewable energy option similar to Pure Power. Nationwide 860,000 customers subscribe to utility green pricing programs.<br><br>
The voluntary market as a whole has resulted in 4,300 megawatts (MW) of new renewable capacity in 2007. According to the EIA (Energy Information Administration), about 9,000 MW of new renewable energy capacity was installed in the United States between 1997 and the end of 2005; thus, voluntary green power markets provide support for 22% of new renewable energy capacity additions, nationally.
Pure Power is a <a href="http://www.green-e.org/" target="_blank">Green-e Energy Certified®</a> program.<br><br>
Green-e Energy was established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions to provide information and an objective standard for consumers to compare renewable energy options and to verify that consumers get what they pay for.<br><br>
When you see the Green-e Energy logo, it means:<br><br>
<li>The renewable energy option contains only new renewable resources;</li><br>
<li>The renewable sources of energy supplying the Pure Power program are independently verified by Green-e Energy, operated by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions;</li><br>
<li>The purchaser of a Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy certificate is the sole "owner" of the environmental attributes of a specific megawatthour (MWh) of energy added to the grid. Independent verification ensures that no MWh are double-counted.</li><br>
<li>The company offering the certified renewable energy option agrees to abide by the Green-e Energy Code of Conduct and Customer Disclosure Requirements governing its ethical treatment of customers.</li>