Renewable Energy Certificates
If you have installed, or are considering installing, solar panels at your home or small business, you may be eligible to earn Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
What is a REC?
- A certificate for one-megawatt-hour of energy produced from a renewable energy system.
- A market-based mechanism designed to support renewable energy generation and clean energy goals.
One megawatt-hour of energy is equivalent to 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). A typical solar project will generate 1,200 kWh for every kilowatt of electrical capacity (measured in kW.) For example, a solar project with a maximum capacity of 10 kW will create about 12,000 kWh (or 12 RECs) every year.
The Importance of RECs
Utilities and other retail electricity providers purchase RECs to meet their compliance obligations under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). New Hampshire's RPS statute, RSA 362-F, requires each electricity provider to meet a percentage of customer load by purchasing or acquiring RECs representing generation from renewable energy. The purpose of the RPS is to promote the development of renewable energy sources. If there aren't enough RECs on the market to purchase, the electricity providers pay Alternative Compliance Payments (ACPs) to the N.H. State Treasury. ACPs fund the Renewable Energy Fund (REF), managed by the N.H. Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC). The REF supports a variety of renewable energy rebate and grant programs, providing important financial incentives to increase renewable energy generation across New Hampshire.
Although not required, some customers choose to work with a REC Aggregator. REC Aggregators are in the business of grouping RECs together and selling them for customers. They can help you turn your RECs into cash. The role of the Aggregator is to collect RECs from one or more solar customers (like yourself) and find an entity that is interested in purchasing those RECs. The Aggregator will sell the RECs for you, collect the money, and send you a payment based on the terms of the service contract that you signed with the Aggregator. Aggregators charge a fee for their services, often expressed as a percentage of the sale proceeds. Click here for a list of Aggregators who have been approved by the NHPUC to perform this service.
NEPOOL GIS is the New England Power Pool Generation Information System. NEPOOL GIS issues and tracks RECs for all MWh of generation produced and load consumed in the New England region subject to ISO New England control. Solar customers must register their renewable generation systems with NEPOOL GIS if they wish to create RECs. Click here for instructions on how to open a NEPOOL GIS account and register as a generator:
The role of the Independent Monitor (IM) is to verify that your renewable energy system uses an energy metering technology that complies with the NHPUC’s accuracy criteria. The IM also is responsible for reporting the monthly energy produced by your system to the NEPOOL GIS regional tracking system that is used by entities around New England to create and transfer RECs in connection with their purchase and sale. Click here for a list of IMs who are have been approved by the NHPUC to perform this service:
How Can Eversource Help Me With Renewable Energy Certificates?
Eversource is offering to serve as the Independent Monitor for residential and commercial customers with renewable energy resources (e.g., solar panels). As part of this service, Eversource will also assist you with completing the NHPUC REC eligibility application. There is no fee for this service, but there are several administrative actions you must take to enroll. You also must arrange with your electrician or solar provider to install a suitable REC meter socket.
Note: this offering is only available for energy projects with a system capacity of no more than 100 kilowatts.
The following actions are required to request and enroll in this service:
Note: these actions are not always performed in the exact order that they appear below. For example, Step 5 is a critical consideration that should be addressed prior to the start of construction of your solar project.
- Consider engaging the services of a REC Aggregator. Although not required, some customers choose to work with a REC Aggregator. Click here for a list of Aggregators who have been approved by the NHPUC to perform this service.
- Open an account with NEPOOL GIS (the New England Power Pool Generation Information System) and register your renewable energy project (e.g., solar). Either you or your Aggregator can perform this step. Establishing this NEPOOL GIS account allows the Independent Monitor to submit information regarding your metered renewable energy output each month into the NEPOOL GIS REC tracking system. Click here for instruction on how to open a NEPOOL GIS account. This step will also result in your energy project being assigned an “asset ID#”, which will begin with “NON”. For example, your project might be assigned the ID# NON48761. This ID# is required before you can complete Step 3. Note: as part of the NEPOOL GIS account registration process you will be asked to select an "Independent Verifier". Please select "Eversource New Hampshire RECs" if you plan to utilize this service.
- Read, sign, and return the Independent Monitor Services Agreement. This agreement contains the terms and conditions that the customer and Eversource agree to regarding the independent monitoring service provided by Eversource. There is no fee for this service. Note: Eversource is not your only option. There are other entities that perform this service for a nominal fee. There are also inverter manufacturers that will perform this function if you install their enabled equipment (e.g., SolarEdge Technologies, Solectria Solar, etc.). Click here for a list of IMs who are have been approved by the NHPUC to perform this service.
- Complete the NHPUC Class I or II REC Eligibility Application. Return the completed application form to Eversource (scan and email to NHDG@eversource.com). Eversource will submit the form on your behalf to the NHPUC. If the NHPUC staff have questions regarding the information, you will need to provide answers in a timely manner to ensure the form is processed. Note: You must already have created an account with NEPOOL GIS and obtained your NEPOOL GIS asset registration ID# in order to complete the application form.
- Install an appropriate REC meter socket as part of your solar energy project. Provide the Eversource REC Meter Socket Requirements document to your electrician or solar installer. Inform them you have asked Eversource to serve as your IM and that an Eversource-owned REC meter will be installed to measure the production of your solar energy system. You and your electrician must provide a suitable meter socket per the Requirements document. It contains socket wiring and location requirements. It is very important to discuss this with your electrician and/or solar installer early in the process, that that costly reworking of the electrical installation will not be required. It is also important to locate the socket per the Requirements document. Inappropriate meter socket locations will not be accepted. The meter socket must be configured such that the REC meter is only recording the solar production. There must be no other sources of power, including storage batteries, behind this meter. Note: If you have already installed your solar project and it does not have the appropriate REC meter socket, it may be best for you to contact another Independent Monitor that does not have the same socket requirements as Eversource.
- Submit digital pictures of your REC meter socket to Eversource. When your solar installation is complete, submit pictures of your REC meter socket so that Eversource can ensure the location is acceptable. These pictures should be submitted at the same time that you (or your electrician or solar installer) submits the “Exhibit B - Certificate of Completion” associated with your net metering application. Make sure the picture shows that the socket is properly labeled (see Eversource REC Meter Socket Requirements).
Start Earning Money for your RECs!
After all the steps above have been completed and your solar project starts to generate electricity, you will not only be lowering your Eversource electric bill—you will also be creating RECs that can be sold for additional value. Eversource (as the Independent Monitor) will upload the monthly solar production data (i.e., the kilowatt-hours produced) into the NEPOOL GIS account that you established per Step 2 above. It is your responsibility to sell those RECs to another entity, either by engaging the services of an Aggregator or by working directly with an electricity supplier.