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ICLEI USA Renewable Energy Credit Guidance for U.S. Local Governments

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA) generally does not recommend that local governments purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) as a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-reduction strategy. The purchase of unbundled RECs in particular is not recommended, as these RECs are not effective at reducing electricity-generation emissions and per the U.S. Community Protocol,cannot be included in an emissions inventory. There are some cases where acquiring RECs as part of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), or utility green power or green tariff program, may make sense, particularly if the local government has limitations on other strategies to support local renewable energy. In these cases, RECs may be included in inventories but only in parallel with an inventory that does not include RECs.