By Joshua S. Hill, Clean Technica.
A new report from the World Resources Institute has highlighted the increasing rise of “green tariffs” in the United States — large-scale renewable energy purchase programs available to residential and industrial customers alike.
Simply put, “green tariffs” allow residential and industrial consumers the opportunity to interact directly with renewable energy sources, ensuring that they are receiving 100% renewable electricity. Traditionally, electricity customers have not been able to engage directly with renewable energy resources, instead having to rely on their local utility to source the electricity for them, and in turn paying the utility company, rather than accessing fixed-price renewable energy. Any renewable energy options available were usually Renewable Energy Certificates (REC), but as the authors of the WRI report explain, these REC programs have only ever been available at an additional cost. Further, REC programs usually only offer “unbundled” Certificates, “which match the energy they buy separately from their utility” but mean “the RECs usually do not provide a fixed cost of energy as protection against volatile fossil fuel prices.”