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LES offers Renewable Energy Certificates on customer bill

LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System has enhanced its existing Renewable Energy Certificates program by offering a new REC Rider, allowing LES customers to purchase the certificates on their LES bill.

What are RECs? Since it is impossible to distinguish its exact source once energy enters the electric grid, RECs were created to help customers interested in prioritizing the use of renewable energy resources.

Representing the property rights to the environmental attributes of renewable energy generation, each REC is considered separate from the power generated and can be traded independently of that power on the open market. The purchase of an REC helps support renewable energy resources and allows REC holders to officially claim they were sourced from 100% renewable energy in a way they may otherwise be unable to do.

LES maintains an ongoing commitment to renewable energy resources. As part of its renewable energy mix, LES currently generates over 1.25 million megawatt-hours of renewable electricity from wind, solar and landfill gas each year. With each MWh, equal to 1,000 kilowatt-hours, of energy produced from these resources, an REC is created.

"With LES’ REC Rider, customers will continue to receive electric service according to their current rate, providing the same low cost and reliability they’ve come to expect from LES,” said Scott Benson, manager of Resource & Transmission Planning. “In addition to their regular service, those who sign up to utilize LES’ new REC Rider will be purchasing a portion of an REC for each net kWh of energy they use in a month. These RECs will be retired on behalf of the customer at the end of each year and can be used to reduce a home or company’s carbon footprint and balance 100% of the customer’s electricity use with renewables."

If a customer already generates some of their own renewable energy under LES’ net metering or virtual net metering programs, they will only be charged for RECs to cover their energy consumption that exceeds their renewable production.

"This is an opportunity for LES’ environmentally focused customers to show their support for renewable energy and sustainable practices in a convenient, tangible way on their monthly LES bill,” said Sarah Peetz, LES Board Chair.

The 2020 REC price is 0.061 cents/kWh, which translates to under $7/year for an average Lincoln area home. The REC price will be updated by LES annually (in January) based on the latest market projections.

The REC Rider is a voluntary program, and participating customers can unenroll at any time. However, if customers unenroll they can no longer claim “100% Renewable” status. To learn more about RECs, go to LES.com/rec.