May 17, 2022

What are renewable energy certificates? And should you have one for your zero-emission vehicle?

Aerial image of a road through a forest

You’ve just picked up your first battery-powered vehicle. You’re driving it home from the dealership with the windows down, admiring the way it turns so smoothly and quietly around each corner, how the sun feels sunnier, and wondering if breezes have always felt so perfect. Then you get home and plug it into your Level 2 home EV charger, and your smile grows even larger, knowing that you’re about to save money and charge up without lifting a finger. But one thing keeps nagging your mind.


Where is that green electricity coming from?

Most EV drivers rest easy, knowing that by owning a zero-emission vehicle, they’re part of a movement towards a sustainable world. Electric vehicles are, by and large, much better for the environment than their gas-powered counterparts. They require less maintenance and are far more efficient with their use of renewable energy generation and utilization. But unless you plug in at home and have solar panels on your roof, you don’t always know where that electricity is coming from. You just might be plugging into a grid powered by coal.


Thankfully, there’s a way to make sure your EV is powered by a clean, renewable energy source. It’s called a “Renewable Energy Certificate” (REC).


What is a renewable energy certificate?

RECs are a way for you to drive clean, even when the grid isn’t clean. It represents the same social and environmental benefits as clean green energy. It’s a specific, measurable unit comprised of one megawatt-hour of renewable energy added to the grid.


Every renewable energy certificate comes with a unique ID number, which is used for tracking. This ensures the investor knows where their energy comes from and that no one else can use that purchased REC. The REC(s) must be used by the purchaser and cannot be resold.


RECs are a natural fit for EV drivers seeking to minimize their carbon footprint. It’s better than a carbon offset. After all, purchasing a renewable energy credit ensures that a megawatt-hour of renewable energy is added to the grid. Not every individual or business can install solar panel solutions, and not every region of the United States benefits from hydro-electric green power like the Pacific Northwest or abundant wind in Texas and solar energy across the Southwest.


How do RECs work?

Renewable Energy Certificates work by incentivizing electricity providers to build more renewable energy they can sell on the market. It’s essentially like owning a property deed to the benefits of wind and solar. When looking at renewable energy certificates vs carbon credits, renewable energy certificates are favored because they are specific and measurable. Owning the right amount of RECs ensures that clean, renewable electricity is generated in an amount equal to what you’ll use in your zero-emission vehicle.


RECs have been created to help renewable energy generators harness a second revenue stream, in addition to selling electricity, based on the environmental benefits of the generation. In a sense, a REC represents the rights to the “greenness” of electricity generated.


Basically, RECs are a way for you to drive clean no matter where you go.


What does an EV driver do with a renewable energy certificate?

With RECs, EV drivers can avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a driving experience that is truly emission-free.


By participating in a REC market, you’d be creating more demand for zero-emission, renewable energy, ultimately accelerating the transition to 100% clean energy. Most EV drivers can feel good about facilitating (or participating in) a cleaner solution needed for transportation. Buying RECs to go along with this will complete the personal transition to a zero-emission lifestyle.


Make your EV charging cleaner, even if you charge in places where direct renewable energy sources are unavailable.


Which renewable energy certificates are best?

There are many different kinds of renewable energy certificates, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting one that’s truly creating demand for renewable energy. With JuiceEco, we provide Green-e® Certified RECs to match how much you drive.


The Green-e® Energy certification program, administered by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), is the trusted global leader in clean energy certification. Through the Green-e® Energy program, CRS certifies renewable energy that meets the highest standards in North America: it must be generated from new facilities, marketed with complete transparency and accuracy, and delivered to the purchaser, who has a sole title. Green-e® staff verifies the entire chain of custody of certified renewable energy from generation to retirement to ensure individuals and businesses get exactly what they paid for.


How much does it cost?

It depends on how much you drive! For as little as $30, you can purchase enough RECs to cover your driving for the full year. We offer three price points:


  • $30 for 3,400 kWh, which equates to about 10,000 miles
  • $45 for 5,100 kWh or 15,000 miles
  • $60 for 6,800 kWh or 20,000 miles


According to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the average person drives around 14,000 miles per year. But the best way for you to determine the best mileage for you is to think about how many miles you drive in a given week, and multiply that by fifty-two.


How do you get a renewable energy certificate?

It’s easy! You can get your Green-e certified RECs in two minutes on our JuiceEco webpage.


First, simply select the amount you want to match based on how much you drive. Then, we’ll send you a purchase confirmation and a certificate representing your REC purchase. After that, you’ll be able to enjoy cleaner driving with JuiceEco, and we’ll give you the option to renew your contract each year.


No matter where you live and where you charge, you can reduce your carbon emissions and footprint and drive on a 100% renewable energy resource with JuiceEco.

Reduce your carbon footprint with JuiceEco

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