Agencies Buying Energy Credits to Meet Mandates

July 22, 2012

Cash-strapped agencies are turning increasingly to renewable energy credits to meet energy mandates.

A renewable energy credit (REC) represents the environmental benefits of one megawatt hour of clean energy. Agencies purchase RECs to lay claim to those benefits and report the energy toward their renewable energy goals.

More than 77 percent of the renewable energy that agencies claimed to use last year was in the form of RECs, according to the Energy Department.

In fiscal 2011, agencies spent $2.5 million on 2.4 million megawatt hours of RECs — helping most agencies reach a goal to get 5 percent of their facility energy from renewable sources. 

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