The U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) has issued guidance for federal agencies seeking to purchase renewable energy. Agencies are encouraged to purchase renewable energy for their electricity needs under the May 2001 National Energy Policy (NEP) and Executive Order 13123 (PDF 87 KB), which established a goal for federal agencies to obtain 2.5% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2005.
The new guidance, which was developed by consensus of the FEMP Renewable Working Group, encourages federal agencies to purchase new renewables, which are defined as projects coming on-line on or after June 3, 1999, the date that Executive Order 13123 was signed. The guidance also states that federal agencies must retain the RECs and associated environmental attributes, such as emissions credits and allowances, from renewable purchases or on-site renewable energy systems in order to count toward the Federal Renewable Energy Goal. Agencies are strongly encouraged to obtain third-party verification that includes independent audits for renewable energy or REC purchases to avoid double counting and fraud. RECs must be generated during the year in which they are used to meet the goal, six months prior, or three months after.
Agencies may restrict the location of renewable resources used for their REC purchases, and are encouraged to purchase renewable energy from a diverse portfolio of renewable resources, such as renewable projects located on Native American lands or owned by small, disadvantaged businesses.
Guidance - EO 13123 Renewable Power/REC Procurement Guidance (PDF 84 KB)
Third Party Verification Guidance - FY05 Renewable Power/REC Procurement Guidance: Third Party Verification (PDF 70 KB)