Renewable Energy Credits 


Renewable Energy Credits Program

San Isabel Electric’s Renewable Energy Credits Program gives members the opportunity to support SIEA in purchasing electricity from 100% renewable sources. When you sign up, the voluntary $0.001 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) bill adjustment ensures that every kWh of energy you use comes from a renewable source.

In addition to ensuring that every bit of power that you use is renewable, this Renewable Energy Credits bill adjustment also funds the development of local solar, wind, and hydro projects within your service territory, right here in southern Colorado. Signing up for the Renewable Energy Credits program is a great way for SIEA members to offset the carbon associated with their energy consumption and affordably support the development of more local renewable energy.

How Much Will It Cost?

That depends upon where you live and how much energy you use. Check this simple chart or call 800-279-SIEA (7432) for a more accurate estimate.

Estimated Cost per Average Monthly Residential Bill

If your average bill is: $50 $100 $150 $200 $250 $300 $350 $400
It will cost an additional: $0.17 $0.52 $0.89 $1.34 $1.78 $2.22 $2.66 $3.11

These figures are estimates only. Your actual charge will vary and depend upon additional factors, such as Time of Day rates, on-bill financing and your local taxes.


What is a Renewable Energy Credit (REC)?

A Renewable Energy Credit, or REC, is the non-tangible and marketable, “green” component of renewable energy. One REC represents proof that one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an “eligible” renewable energy source. A REC is separate from the actual energy produced, and it is the REC, not the energy, that legally embodies the environmental attributes that are associated with the electricity that came from a renewable energy source. The environmental attributes are the environmental benefits—such as fewer carbon emissions and less pollution — that a clean, renewable resource has over a traditional resource like fossil fuels. RECs may be marketed separately from the energy or kept bundled with it.

RECs also encompass the “claim” to the environmental attributes. That is, one may not make statements or claims about the environmental benefits of the energy if the RECs associated with that energy have been transferred to another party. Once RECs have been separated from the energy, the energy loses all legal and marketable claims to the environmental attributes.

1 REC = 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy generation.

1 megawatt-hour (MWh) = 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh)

A wealth of information about RECs can be acquired from organizations like Green-e, which specializes in certifying environmental commodities like RECs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also provides good information about RECs on their Renewable Energy Certificate page.

What is the price of a REC?

The value of a REC, like most commodities, is subject to the demand for RECs. Demand is largely driven by two separate markets for RECs – the compliance market and the voluntary market.

The compliance market usually centers around state requirements that utilities acquire RECs to maintain a certain percentage of renewables in their generation portfolio. In most cases utilities will seek out the least expensive option for acquiring RECs and with the lowest transaction cost. The Voluntary market encompasses RECs that are bought and sold outside of any regulatory mandate.

What qualifies as an “eligible” renewable source?

Power generated by wind, solar, moving water, organic plant and waste material (eligible biomass), and the earth’s heat (geothermal).

How do we know that I will actually be using renewable energy since there is no apparent change in how I get my electricity?

The Renewable Energy Credits program uses Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to provide you 100% renewably sourced electricity. RECs are the legally-recognized method of accounting for renewable power generation. RECs are the means by which power generators comply with the State Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement. When you participate in Renewable Energy Credits program, you own the RECs, and we purchase these on your behalf.

I am participating in this program and need proof that my home or business is 100% renewable. Can you help me with this?

We can issue you a Renewable Energy Credits program certificate that confirms the purchase of RECs on your behalf, covering 100% of your energy usage.

How renewable is our grid right now?
SIEA’s power is generated by Tri-State Generation & Transmission, who’s generation portfolio currently includes more than 30% renewable energy. By 2024, 50% of the power they supply will be renewable, and by 2030, they anticipate that 70% of their energy will be from clean sources. By the end of 2023, more than 140 MW of Tri-State’s renewable energy will be generated right here in SIEA’s service territory. You can read more about Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan HERE.
What kinds of local projects are in the works?

In addition to our Huerfano River Wind Farm, SIEA is pursuing a local micro-hydro and a community solar project. 

How do I fund additional REC purchases and local renewable energy project development?

When you enroll in our program, let us know how many additional RECs you would like to purchase, or how much additional money you would like to give, on a monthly basis. We will add this as a line item on your bill.

I’m a solar owner. Do I create or own RECs?

While solar-owning members do own the energy their system produces, any member participating in SIEA’s net metering program has agreed to give SIEA ownership of their RECs. As a result, it is important that net metering system owners do not publicly make the claim that they are offsetting carbon emissions through their system, or that 100% of their power comes from a renewable source. SIEA uses these RECs to receive energy credits that benefit the greater membership. SIEA encourages net meter system owners to understand the benefit of assigning their RECs to SIEA and to sign up for the Renewable Energy Credits program if they wish to market their power as being green.

I have been participating in this program for years. What changed?

Thank you for your historic contributions to SIEA’s green power portfolio! Thanks to members like you, SIEA has purchased Renewable Energy Credits for more than more than 2.7 million kWh used within its service territory. This program has not changed since its inception – we are simply rebranding and increasing awareness about the program to ensure that interested members know how to participate.