Green FAQs

What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy is a resource generated by the sun, wind, earth or water that replenishes naturally. Renewable energy fuels include solar, biomass, hydro, wind and geothermal.

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Why Should I Care About Renewable Energy?

One of the major sources of air pollution is the generation of electricity. Renewable energy generation produces far less pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.

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What are Greenhouse Gases?

Greenhouse gases (GHG) are components of the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Some GHG occur naturally in the atmosphere, while others result from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

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Why Should I Care about GHG?

GHG act like the glazing on a greenhouse trapping the sun’s heat in the earth’s atmosphere. To a certain degree, these gases are beneficial because they make the earth warm enough to support human life. If the greenhouse effect is too great, the climate changes and serious disruptions can result such as the melting of Arctic ice, rising sea levels and changing weather patterns.

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What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?

A REC represents the environmental attributes of one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated from renewable resources delivered somewhere on the power grid.

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What are the Benefits of RECs?

A REC allows attributes of renewable power to be “stored”, unlike electrons which are used immediately. RECs make it easy for a buyer to support renewable energy because they can be sold separately from electricity. They can be purchased from a variety of locations, and the REC purchase can be based on any amount of electricity. Buying RECs provides support to renewable resources.

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What is Green-e Energy?

Green-e Energy is the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy and sets consumer protection and environmental standards for renewable electricity products. The Green-e Energy National Standard identifies many criteria renewable energy must meet to be certified, and the Green-e Energy label certifies that the power is from an eligible renewable energy resource. All Green-e Energy requirements and auditing protocols are publicly available and can be found at www.green-e.org/energy.

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When you Buy Green Power, How Does the Green Power Reach Your Business?

In order for renewable electricity to benefit the environment it does not have to reach a specific end user. The important fact is that the renewable electricity is delivered to the electricity grid. The generation of zero- or low-emitting electricity has benefits to the environment no matter whether your business uses a specific, renewable-generated electron. By purchasing RECs, you help support the operation of renewable energy generation.

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What is the Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership®?

The Green Power Partnership® is a government program that encourages companies to purchase renewable energy. As part of the program, technical and analytical information is made available for participants regarding renewable energy. By joining, press and communication support, the use of the Green Power Partnership logo, and a company profile on the partnership page are provided. There are over 750 members of the Green Power Partners, accounting for over 10 billion kWh of green power purchased annually. http://www.epa.gov/grnpower/

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What is the US Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was developed to act as a national benchmark in the design, construction and operation of environmentally friendly buildings and provides a framework and checklist for new and existing structures desiring to meet set benchmark standards. Under current LEED green building standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, points are awarded under the Green Power credit for purchases of RECs or renewable electricity that are Green-e Energy Certified or equivalent. For more information, please visit HERE (http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19).

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