What If I Can't Buy Green Power Through My Utility?
If your utility is not on the list for your state, please contact your utility and request that they purchase renewables and/or offer their customers a green power option that meets regional standards developed though Renew 2000. In this age of restructuring and customer choice, utilities care what their customers think -- demand renewable energy and you might get it!
Another option is to purchase renewable energy certificates (also known as RECs) or carbon offsets through a third party. RECs are created when wind power or other renewable energy is substituted for traditional power. The certificates represent the real savings in carbon dioxide and other pollutants that occur when green power replaces burning fossil fuels. Buying RECs has the same effect as buying green power from your utility. Both replace fossil fuel generators with clean renewables, and both have the same environmental benefits.
Another advantage is that they can be purchased and applied anywhere. So, while they can be used if your utility doesn't offer a green power program, they can also be useful if you want to purchase green power for a number of different locations. This makes certificates very attractive to businesses that may have offices in a number of different locations, or that want to offset the power usage used to produce their products manufactured by another company.
There are many third party marketers and many decisions to consider when buying them, so it is important to know that what you are purchasing is verifiable. Green-e is a certification organization and is a great source of information. They also provide a search tool to help identify companies that can meet your needs.