Renewable Energy Certificates seem like a great way to prove your green. I like the idea. My Electric company is offering to sell me RECs along with the electricity I consume. They market it like I'm helping renewables along. Thing is, as I think about it, I'm really not sure I can trust my electric company isn't just trying to sell the same horse twice.

With their existing green generators in place, lets say the company generates 50% green electricity and 50% coal electricity. In doing this, they also generate RECs. If I go along with their plan (and lets say that I consume 1% of the total energy available), do I have any guarantee that the energy company would work to change their portfolio to 51% green energy to accommodate the newly purchased RECs??

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The best way to find out would probably be to try to obtain a contact in the company who is responsible for running the program, or at least for answering questions about it, and arranging a meeting to give them a friendly but intensive interview grilling about it.

If they seemed reluctant, offering to write up an article for sharing with the media may help (and if they're unhappy about that idea, then they're probably being dishonest!).

Note that they're likely to consider it acceptable to sell certificates for their existing 50% green generation without necessarily investing in new green generation. ie they might consider that until they sell certificates for all of the existing 50%, they don't need to invest in more.

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