Green Power Purchasing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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WHAT IS A “GREEN POWER PURCHASE”?

WHAT IS A REC OR A GO?

WHAT AM I RECEIVING IF I BUY A VOLUNTARY REC OR GO?

DOES BUYING A REC OR GO MEAN I AM USING RENEWABLE ENERGY?

SHOULD RECS OR GOS BE USED FOR ANY FORM OF GHG EMISSIONS ACCOUNTING?

SHOULD I USE RECS OR GOS TO CALCULATE MY ORGANIZATION’S CARBON FOOTPRINT?

SHOULD I USE RECS OR GOS TO SUPPORT MY CLAIMS OF “CARBON NEUTRALITY” OR “NET ZERO”?

SHOULD I USE THE “LOCATION-BASED” OR “MARKET-BASED” METHOD TO ESTIMATE MY CORPORATE SCOPE 2 GHG EMISSIONS?

Further Questions Related to Attributional Claims

IS PURCHASING RECS OR GOS FROM A LOCAL GENERATOR BETTER THAN FROM A FAR-OFF GENERATOR FOR GHG ACCOUNTING PURPOSES?

DOES THE USE OF A “RESIDUAL MIX” GRID EMISSION FACTOR SOLVE THE PROBLEMS WITH RECS AND GO FOR GHG ACCOUNTING?

 WHY HAVE RECS AND GOS BEEN WIDELY ACCEPTED AND USED IN CORPORATE CARBON FOOTPRINTS?

Further Questions Related to Consequential Claims

DOES MY RECS OR GO PURCHASE INFLUENCE HOW MUCH RENEWABLE ENERGY IS GENERATED?

DOESN’T THE EXCLUSION OF LEGACY RE AND HYDROPOWER GENERATION FROM THE VOLUNTARY REC MARKET ADDRESS GHG ACCOUNTING PROBLEMS?

IF MORE COMPANIES PURCHASE RECS AND GOS, THEN WON’T THIS INCREASED DEMAND EVENTUALLY CAUSE MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT AND GENERATION?

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REC/GO AND A CARBON OFFSET CREDIT?

IS “ADDITIONALITY” RELEVANT OR NECESSARY FOR RECS AND GOS TO BE USED IN CONSEQUENTIAL GHG ACCOUNTING?

Further Questions Related To RECs & GOs

WHAT ARE THE “ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS” OR “ATTRIBUTES” ASSOCIATED WITH RECS AND GOS?

WHY ARE RECS AND GOS TYPICALLY SO INEXPENSIVE?

DOES VERIFICATION OR CERTIFICATION OF MY REC OR GOS ASSURE ITS IMPACT AND ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY?

COULD HOURLY RECS OR GOS MAKE THEM APPROPRIATE FOR GHG ACCOUNTING?

Further Questions Related To PPAs & Other Options

AM I PURCHASING GREEN POWER THROUGH A PPA?

CAN I USE MY ELECTRIC UTILITY’S GREEN PRICING OR GREEN TARIFF PROGRAM FOR MY GHG ACCOUNTING?

 WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR AN ELECTRICITY GENERATOR TO “DELIVER” ELECTRICITY”?

SHOULD COMPANIES NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO “PURCHASE” GREEN POWER?