For many, understanding renewable energy credits (REC’s) can be confusing, but here are a few visual representations of how RECs are created, exchanged, and obtained by the consumer. Remember that when renewable energy is generated in the form of electrons and is transmitted to the electrical grid, it becomes indistinguishable from traditional, polluting forms of energy. RECs were created to address this issue, thus when renewable energy is generated both RECs and electrons are created, but when traditional energy is created both pollution and electrons are created! This is why purchasing RECs can allow one to claim to be “powered by clean energy”!

Conventional vs Renewable Power image

According to the EPA……

EPA REC Diagram