Regulator Clarifies Retail Suppliers' Ability To Market REC-Based Products As "Green" (Previously Prohibited Use Of Term "Renewable Energy" In Marketing REC-Based Products)
December 1, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Connecticut PURA issued a clarification concerning its recent order on the marketing of voluntary renewable electricity supply offers (VRO) from retail electric suppliers, addressing whether suppliers may use the term "green" to describe REC-based products.
PURA uses the term VRO to describe supplier products which include energy plus the RECs claimed by suppliers in excess of the RPS, creating a bundled product (REC-based product)
As first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com, PURA in a recent decision prohibited the use of the term "renewable energy" to market a REC-based product. Under the order, a supplier may not market the product as "renewable energy" unless the offer is supported by an ownership interest in or PPA for a renewable resource used to serve the contract.
PURA issued a clarification stating, "The Authority clarifies that suppliers will be allowed to market their VROs as 'green' but reinforces and cautions that these products cannot be marketed to mislead consumers to believe they are purchasing renewable energy rather than RECs. As the [prior] Decision clearly stated, VRO marketing must focus on the distinction between renewable energy and renewable energy certificates.:
PURA also clarified the start of a new VRO verification process outlined in the prior order, as previously reported. PURA clarified that its prior decision allowed suppliers to complete existing contracts under the current VRO rules, but indicated that, effective January 2021, no new contract may be entered nor may a contract be renewed that does not comply with the VRO rules described in the decision. "As a result, the Authority did not contemplate that the verification process would begin until 2021 for VROs throughout that year (i.e., suppliers would not have to file verification as part of the 2020 renewable portfolio standards (RPS) compliance because much of the 2020 RPS year had occurred when the Authority issued the Decision)," PURA said
PURA also clarified that VROs using RECs from the eligible adjacent control regions may be retired using the rules for those adjacent control regions in effect at the time of REC retirement, but those RECs must be retired in time to meet the annual Connecticut RPS compliance process (language in the order had suggested that all RECs must follow the NEPOOL-GIS retirement process)