The Climate Registry Recognizes RECs

By: 3Degrees

The Climate Registry (TCR), a leader in developing standards for reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, released some exciting news for voluntary REC purchasers. TCR’s latest version of the General Reporting Protocol (GRP), implemented in March, includes changes that better allow Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) purchases to be factored into an entity’s carbon footprint calculation.

Why is this important?

For years, TCR’s extensive GRP has accounted for greenhouse gas emissions related to manufacturing, company travel, office lighting, and much more. Until the most recent version of the GRP, TCR did not fully incorporate REC purchases into an entity’s emissions. Now, companies that voluntarily purchase Green-e Energy certified RECs can factor them into the emissions associated with purchased electricity. This change will ultimately allow REC purchasers to lower their net carbon footprint.

Here is how it works:

  • Estimate the emissions associated with purchased electricity. Multiply the MWhs used by the average emissions factor (GHGs per MWh) for a MWh generated in the region.
  • Calculate the emissions associated with the REC purchase. All forms of electricity generation have an emissions factor (GHGs per MWh). Some renewable energy facilities emit zero emissions (e.g. the facilities that supply 3Degrees’ U.S. Wind REC product); others, such as biofuel facilities, have emissions factors greater than zero.
  • MWh-by-MWh, apply the GHGs associated with the REC against the emissions associated with purchased electricity. For example, if an organization purchased zero-emissions RECs to match 100% of their purchased electricity, then the electricity-related emissions would be adjusted to zero. 
  • When electricity-related emissions are reduced, the overall carbon footprint is reduced.

Contact us if you are interested in purchasing RECs or would like learn more about how this change could affect your organization’s renewable energy strategy. For additional information about The Climate Registry’s GRP, visit


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