Renewable Energy Certificate (RECS) Program

January 12, 2024 | Reading Time: 6 minutes

What is the Renewable Energy Certificate program?

The Renewable Energy Certificate (RECS) program is a solar incentive that pays homeowners for their solar energy every quarter.

What is a Renewable Energy Certificate?

Renewable Energy Certificates prove that a certain amount of electricity was generated by a renewable source. RECs act as a seal of validation and ensure REC market value allowing them to be sold to companies on an open market.

How much are RECS worth?

The value of a REC changes quarterly as they’re sold on an open market. The selling price usually hovers between $20 and $40 and is calculated based on the market demand for RECS.

In January 2024, one REC is worth $26.

How do I earn money with the Renewable Energy Certificate program?

Homeowners earn money through the RECS program by indirectly selling their solar energy to companies looking to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

Why are RECS important?

RECS encourage and support clean energy generation and adoption. They allow companies to support renewable energy production and take part in the sustainability movement.

RECS incentivize homeowners to adopt solar energy with indefinite quarterly payments.

Why are RECS worth money?

RECS are worth money because Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPFs) from states require companies to make a set percentage of their energy from renewable sources. Many companies would rather pay for RECS to meet their percentage instead of building their own renewable energy systems.

The value of a REC is directly correlated to the number of companies willing to purchase them. Due to the sustainability movement, many companies are bidding on RECS which is driving the price per REC higher.

How are RECS measured?

One REC is equal to one thousand kilowatts (kW) or one megawatt (MW).

Context: The average solar system produces 11MW per year.

How is my renewable energy reported to the RECS program?

You can automatically or manually report your energy production to the RECS program. Automatic reporting requires a certified meter that is interconnected with a REC tracking system and automatically reports your renewable energy production to them every month. Manual reporting involves the homeowner tracking their certified meter’s production and manually reporting it monthly to a REC tracking system.

How do I sign up for the Renewable Energy Certificate program?

Your solar installer applies to the REC program on your behalf. Let your installer know you are interested in the program.

Who purchases RECS?

RECS are purchased by companies that do not generate enough renewable energy of their own to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). RPS requires a certain percentage of companies’ energy production to be renewable. Purchasing RECS offsets their unrenewable energy production and they can legally revalue their carbon emission levels.

Tech companies with large databases, retailers, manufacturers, and energy suppliers are examples of the type of companies that are held to RPS standards and usually purchase RECS.

Where are RECS sold?

RECS are sold on the Class I or Class II REC Open Market. These are virtual markets where purchases are facilitated through REC aggregators who combine many REC sources and sell RECS in bulk.

When are RECS sold?

RECS are sold quarterly.

How often do I get paid with RECS?

Participants recieve quarterly payments from the RECS program. You will typically be paid two weeks after the REC auction date.

Energy Generation PeriodREC Auction Date
Q1 (Jan to Mar)July 15th
Q2 (Apr to Jun)October 15th
Q3 (Jul to Sep)January 15th
Q4 (Oct to Dec)April 15th

How long will I receive payments from the Renewable Energy Certificate program?

You will continue to receive payments As long as RECS holds market value. The RECS program does not have an end date.