Green Power Procurement Considerations
Green power is available from a variety of different suppliers, including utilities, renewable energy certificate (REC) marketers, system integrators, and nonprofit organizations. You should consider the following when selecting a green power product:
- Procurement Scope: Determine the breadth of your green power procurement. Will it be for a single facility, for a logical aggregation of facilities, or organization-wide? Do you have budget or geographical constraints?
- Contract Length: Consider the length of your purchase contract. Longer-term contracts can result in significantly lower procurement costs for your organization. Longer-term contracts executed with yet-to-be-built renewable energy projects can also play a substantive role in the realization of a project.
- Type of Contract: Seek a fixed-price contract when the product is bundled with the commodity electricity. Fixed-price contracts can hedge against future electricity price volatility. Some contracts may include a price escalator over the contract term.
- Resource Mix: Depending on your organization's goals (financial, environmental, or other) you may seek a specific resource mix. You might also base your purchase on the cost, geography, or carbon benefit afforded by the product mix.
- Environmental Attribute Ownership: Ensure that your purchase conveys all the environmental benefits of the generation source. This is particularly pertinent for buyers that engage directly with on-site or off-site projects. Buyers should retain the RECs generated by the system in order to be able to claim to be using green power.
- Financial Incentives: Many states offer financial incentives for installing renewable generation projects. Direct project engagement can often afford the green power buyer additional benefits such as price hedges and cost savings relative to conventional electricity service options.
- Price: The cost of green power can vary across green power supply options. Price can be influenced by resource, fuel type, geography, and vintage.
- "New" Renewables: To support developing more renewable energy capacity nationwide, EPA requires that Partners use green power from "new" renewable energy facilities. EPA defines "new" as those facilities put into service within the last 15 years (on or after January 1 of the year 15 years prior to the current date). This rolling 15-year new date requirement helps to continuously drive the development of new renewables.
- Certification and Verification: EPA strongly encourages buyers to purchase green power that is certified and verified by an independent third party. Buying certified and verified products helps ensure the quality of your purchase and protects the integrity of the green power industry.
- Shop Around: It pays to look at a number of green power suppliers and product options. You should shop around when making a green power purchase to find the best option to meet your goals. EPA can assist Partner organizations in identifying products and navigating the purchase process. Become an EPA Green Power Partner today!