Green-e Renewable Electricity Certification Program Summary
The Green-e Renewable Electricity Certification Program provides a simple way for the public to quickly identify environmentally superior electricity products in restructured markets. When the Green-e logo is displayed next to an electricity product, it means that at least 50% of the electricity supply comes from renewable resources including solar, small hydro-electric (<30 Megawatts), wind, biomass (the burning of agricultural or other wastes), and geothermal facilities. It also means that any non-renewable part of the product has air emissions equal to or lower than the traditional mix of electricity. Green-e products may not contain any nuclear power other than what is contained in system power purchased for the eligible product's portfolio. Furthermore, Green-e products must contain at least 5% new renewable resources in the second year after restructuring, and 10% in the third year.
Companies participating in the Green-e program are required to abide by the Green-e Code of Conduct, which governs the way companies represent their electricity products. Specifically, companies must, (1) make full disclosure of the percentage and type of renewable resources in their electricity product, (2) present product pricing and contract terms in a standardized format for easy comparison, (3) submit their marketing materials for review to ensure they are not making false or misleading claims, and (4) undergo an annual independent Process Audit to verify product claims and ensure enough renewable power has been purchased to meet its customer demand.
In requiring these consumer and environmental safeguards, Green-e seeks to: build consumer confidence in renewable energy products; expand the retail market for renewable electricity products; provide customers clear information about electricity options to enable them to make informed purchasing decisions; and to strengthen the market for power from cleaner non-renewable generation.
The Green-e logo is a trademarked brand available for use with green power products in competitive electric service markets. Green-e is administered by the Center for Resource Solutions, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, California. Green-e was launched in November 1997 in California, and was adapted in July 1998 for use in Pennsylvania. In addition, regional Green-e advisory committees are developing standards for implementing the certification process in New England and the Mid-Atlantic.
Elements of the Green-e Program include: