Reduce your company’s carbon footprint with green energy options

CI.EN.DG CBF Article #5

Going green is a phrase we hear a lot these days, but what does it really mean and what are the potential opportunities for your business?

The term green is often used as a catch-all phrase for environmentally-minded activities and initiatives, but there is a specific definition. Per the EPA, “Green power is a subset of renewable energy and represents those renewable energy sources and technologies that provide the highest environmental benefit …” This can include power generated from sources like solar, wind, and geothermal.   

What are the benefits of going green?

Corporate and regional sustainability goals continue to be a focus for many organizations. Why is this important to note?  Going green allows a business to decrease their carbon footprint. And, depending on the energy that’s purchased, gives them an opportunity to rally their employees and customers behind an enviro-friendly initiative.

What are some common misconceptions about going green?

“Many businesses tend to believe that using renewable energy is more costly. In reality, there’s often not a huge premium to go green with energy produced using renewable sources,” said Rick Peepers, regional sales manager with IGS Energy. For organizations that aren’t candidates for installing onsite renewable energy options, leveraging Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are a great solution. “RECs can be built into your commodity rate for electricity or can be contracted separately. Either way, your supplier will take care of this for you, and your business benefits because you can position yourself as being an environmentally-conscious company,” Peepers said. 

How does going green with renewable energy credits actually work?

At a high level, RECs allow a greater number of individuals and businesses to participate in the use of renewable energy without needing to install special equipment on their property, such as a wind turbine. When renewable energy is generated, it’s sent onto the grid. At this point, power created by clean and renewable methods are combined with power traditionally created. That’s where RECs come in.       

RECs are produced with each megawatt of renewable energy generated. Purchasing electricity generated using renewable sources through the REC system is an easy way to support a cleaner energy future for both your business and the world. “Green electricity programs vary by supplier, but typically a supplier will retire RECs on your behalf equal to 100% of your consumption,” said Peepers.   

How do I get the process started?

Determine what your company’s green energy goals are and then start researching your options. “Because of their hedging power, energy suppliers can often secure better pricing on green electricity and may be able to customize it to maximize your market position based on your typical usage,” Peepers said.