Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) administers the certification program and is seeking feedback on several potential changes to the Green-e Energy National Standard. An online survey represents the second and final opportunity to comment before the next version of the standard is released.

Green-e Energy is the leading certification program in the USA for sales of renewable electricity and renewable energy certificates (RECs) in the voluntary market for renewable energy. Created in 1997, Green-e Energy certified 54% of retail voluntary renewable energy sales in the USA in 2008.

The Green-e Energy National Standard was developed through an open stakeholder process in 2004 and 2005, and is based on regional standards developed through the same process between 1997 and 2004.

It defines eligible renewable energies as solar electric, wind, geothermal, hydropower from new generation capacity on a non-impoundment or new generation capacity on an existing impoundment of less than 5 MW, biomass from waste, biodiesel, and fuel cells if they are powered by hydrogen derived from any eligible renewable resource.

It also covers co-firing of biomass with non-renewables under certain conditions.

Green standard may be affected by US cap-and-trade

“The Green-e Energy National Standard is a dynamic document, which strives to set rigorous environmental and consumer protection standards for the voluntary renewable energy market to ensure high quality products and processes,” explains the CRS survey.

“In the event of policies on a national cap-and-trade program or a national renewable energy standard (RES), the Green-e Energy National Standard would necessarily be updated to reflect resulting changes in the renewable energy market.”

In certain proposed national legislation, green power could be granted a REC and potentially also a carbon allowance or a 'Federal REC’ which would be issued exclusively by the federal government and used for compliance with a national RES.

The Green-e Energy National Standard requires that a REC contains all environmental attributes that are linked to its generation. If multiple kinds of RECs or attributes are created, all types of RECs and attributes associated with generation must be retired for a voluntary retail purchase in order for the purchaser to have full and exclusive claim to that renewable power.

Timing for revised standard

The revised standard will be updated by the middle of this year and will supersede all previous regional and product specific criteria. It applies to all Green-e Certified renewable energy products: RECs, Utility Green Pricing Programs, and Competitive Market Electricity Products.

At least one year of notice following approval will be granted to utilities, green power marketers and other stakeholders before substantive changes take effect.

CRS was created to bolster customer confidence in the reliability of retail electricity products reflecting renewable energy generation and expand the retail market for electricity products incorporating renewable energy, including expanding the demand for new renewable energy generation.