The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that all electric supply products include a minimum of 51% renewable energy resources in 2022, 54% in 2023 and 55% in 2024. Some Brookline Green Electricity (BGE) Program products contain additional renewable energy that exceeds the minimum required by the Commonwealth, as shown below.
How Can a Product Include More Than 100% Renewable Energy Content?
Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs, are the accepted legal instrument used to track renewable energy generation and to substantiate claims of renewable energy use. One REC is issued when one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity is generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable energy resource.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has renewable energy requirements for all electricity supplies, and these requirements are met by obtaining and retiring RECs. Retiring a REC ensures that there is no double counting (i.e., no one else may claim to use the same REC once it has been retired).
An electricity product can voluntarily retire additional RECs, above the requirements of the Commonwealth.
Any voluntary retirement of RECs increases demand for renewable energy resources, which helps spur the construction of more renewables. The more RECs that are voluntarily retired, the greater the increase in demand. To go deeper on how REC demand can create more renewables, read our primer here.
Importantly, your electricity usage does not limit the number of RECs you can retire. Our 100% product voluntarily retires RECs equal to 100% of your usage, in addition to the RECs retired to meet the Commonwealth requirements. This means you are increasing demand for renewable energy resources above your total electricity use.
Although you might not be able to use more than 100% renewable electricity, the renewable electricity represented by those RECs is generated and put onto our regional electricity grid. This means your purchases are causing a physical change in the electricity mix on our grid.