Exelon Energy, the competitive retail energy marketing subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, unveiled a product designed to help customers demonstrate their commitment to limit air pollutants associated with the electricity they use. This new product, an Emission-Free Energy Certificate (EFEC), will initially be offered as part of a pilot program to select commercial and industrial customers who have existing agreements with Exelon Energy.
“Our customers have overwhelmingly expressed a need for low-carbon products,” said Kenneth Cornew, Senior Vice President, Exelon Corporation and President, Exelon Energy. “We have committed to this program with the hope that the Emission-Free Energy Certificate will provide a convenient vehicle for our customers to purchase electricity in an environmentally friendly manner. Based upon the feedback we receive from the pilot, we plan to offer the Emission-Free Energy Certificate as part of our regular product offerings to the marketplace later this year.”
PJM Environmental Information Services (PJM EIS), a company that reports and tracks environmental and emissions attributes for electricity suppliers, defines Emission-Free Energy as electric power output from a generating unit that does not directly produce any emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide or carbon dioxide in the generation of electricity. Eligible fuel types include new and existing: solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, hydro, nuclear, tidal energy and wave energy.
Exelon Energy will issue EFECs at no cost to participating customers, allowing them to understand the environmental benefits of purchasing electricity supplied from low-carbon generation sources such as nuclear power. Customers who participate can use EFECs to compare the impact of emission-free generation sources to the standard blend of generation resources available in the region. For example, an Illinois customer holding enough EFECs to cover 100 percent of the electricity usage of a 500 kilowatt (kW) facility for a year could claim carbon dioxide avoidance equivalent to 359 acres of trees or 289 passenger vehicles removed from the road for a year.
David F. Vite, President & CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, whose members participate in an affinity group procurement program with Exelon Energy, says IRMA members welcome the opportunity to be partners in this first-of-its-kind initiative.
“We’ve received tremendous response from the leaders of both independent and national businesses operating in Illinois. They take pride in their role as good stewards of the planet, and this program gives them exactly what they’ve waited for – official certification of clean energy use recognized throughout the country,” Vite said. “We salute Exelon Energy for being at the forefront of this effort and we’re excited to move forward with them in this important project.”
The Emission-Free Energy Certificates will be tracked by the Generation Attributes Tracking System (GATS), which is managed by PJM EIS. The GATS tracks the environmental attributes of electricity generation and supports reporting, compliance and verification requirements for environmental compliance and voluntary markets.
Exelon Generation’s nuclear fleet, the largest in the nation, is the primary source for EFECs. In addition to EFECs, Exelon Energy offers Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) generated by renewable energy resources. Exelon Generation’s emission-free portfolio enables Exelon Energy to offer these environmental products at a competitive cost. Its assets include two hydroelectric facilities on the Susquehanna River and the second largest landfill gas facility in the country. Additionally, Exelon Energy’s sources for RECs include power purchase agreements with wind farms in Pennsylvania, Illinois and West Virginia, and two solar facilities located in and just outside of Philadelphia.
Since 1998, Exelon Energy has been supplying natural gas and electricity to commercial and industrial customers in the Midwest.
“As we have for the past 10 years, we are committed to making a difference to our customers and the communities we serve,” adds Cornew. “The Emission-Free Energy Certificate is another of Exelon Energy’s contributions to our company’s overall environmental policy and we’re optimistic about the program’s chances for success.”
The EFECs program is part of Exelon 2020: A Low-Carbon Roadmap, Exelon Corporation’s plan to reduce, offset or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020. This is more than the company’s current annual carbon footprint and equivalent to taking nearly 3 million cars off the road. The three prongs of Exelon 2020 are: (1) reduce or offset Exelon’s carbon footprint by greening its operations; (2) help its customers and the communities it serves reduce their greenhouse gas emissions; and (3) offer more low-carbon electricity in the marketplace.