Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
When renewable energy is produced, and qualified by the state, it earns Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). These RECs are the currency of a regional renewable energy market administered by ISO-New England and the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL). These RECs may be sold by the producer at a market price to utilities who have RPS obligations, as a means of bringing the purchaser into compliance with the RPS.
One REC is produced when one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity is generated from a renewable energy resource. Under state law, these certificates can actually be sold in a marketplace. A buyer of RECs can use them to offset their carbon footprint.
1 REC = the non-power environmental attributes of 1,000-kilowatt-hours (one megawatt hour) of renewable energy
Why RECs Matter
While anyone can purchase RECs, however, most are purchased by electric utilities which are required by state law to own predefined quantities of RECs tied to a percentage of their total annual electricity sales. These predefined quantities are called the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). RECs are governed by a regulatory process with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC). In most places, RECs are used to fulfill mandatory renewable portfolio standards (RPS). An RPS is a way for state policymakers to move a state toward greener energy sources.
The regulatory process to qualify a renewable generator for production of RECs includes an application which must be completed and filed with the NHPUC for approval. In order to monitor a Member-Sited Source, NHEC will install a generation meter to record the amount of electric energy the resource generates, routinely read and maintain the generation meter, and report to the NHPUC on a regular basis. As an approved monitor, NHEC may charge a monthly fee for this service.