U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Federal Energy Management Program

Purchasing Renewable Power

Federal agencies can purchase renewable power or renewable energy certificates (RECs) from a utility or other organization to meet Federal renewable energy requirements. Renewable power and RECs are good choices for facilities where on-site projects may be difficult or capital budgets are limited.

There are three methods for purchasing renewable power that's not generated on a Federal site:

  • Renewable Energy Certificates: Also known as renewable energy credits, green certificates, green tags, or tradable renewable certificates, RECs represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects and are sold separately from commodity electricity. RECs are an attractive option for Federal facilities located where renewable power is not readily available.

    To learn more, read the REC Quick Guide, Guide to Purchasing Green Power, and the Green Power Network's REC Web page.

  • Competitive Renewable Power: In states with competitive electricity markets, Federal agencies can purchase renewable power through competitive electricity procurements. The Green Power Network website shows states that have competitive renewable power product offerings.

  • Regulated Utility Green Pricing Programs: Green pricing is an optional utility service that allows customers to support a greater level of utility company investment in renewable energy technologies. Participating customers pay a premium on their electric bills to cover the incremental cost of the additional renewable energy. To find out if your utility has a green pricing program, consult the Green Power Network's Green Pricing Web page.


The General Services Administration, Defense Logistics Agency Energy, and Western Area Power Administration each assist Federal agencies with renewable power or REC purchases.

Federal agencies that purchase renewable power may be eligible to join the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program designed to reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation by promoting renewable energy. The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) can help determine the best renewable power purchase option in your area and provide you with Green Power Partnership requirements and application procedures.


For more information, see the Resources on Purchasing Renewable Power. FEMP also offers services to help determine the best renewable energy power option based on geographic location.

On-Site Renewable Power Purchase Agreements

On-site power purchase agreements (PPA) allow Federal agencies to fund on-site renewable energy projects with no up-front capital costs incurred. Learn more about PPAs.