Green Power Purchasing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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Does verification or certification of my REC or GOs assure its impact and environmental integrity?

Short answer

No. The verification and certification processes for RECs and GOs, such as those required by Green-e® or the I-REC Standard, only confirm that two RECs are not registered for a single MWh of generation from a renewable energy generator (i.e., no double issuance).

Long explanation

None of the substantive criteria that are standard for environmental accounting or impact verification in the context of a consequential environmental accounting or GHG emission reduction projects and offset credits occur in the case of REC or GO certifications. For instance, verification of a REC will confirm that 1 MWh was generated from a qualified resource and that the certificate was only claimed once. But, the certification does not provide credible assurance that a certificate meets other environmental integrity principles.[1]

[1] See High-Quality Offsets