Green Tags: Trading Environmental Benefits

Green Tag trading is the clean energy equivalent of trading commodities such as oil or corn on an exchange. The system is used by the countries participating in the Kyoto Protocol to regulate the amounts of energy they receive from renewable resources even when it is impractical or impossible for them to produce the energy to fill their needs with sustainable energy.

Each green tag represents an amount of pollution that has been removed from the environment by a renewable energy source such as a solar wind power supply being added to the existing utility grid. Often times green tags are purchased by environmentally conscious corporations, events or individuals to offset an amount of carbon or pollution they have produced. A percentage of the proceeds from the sales of the tags is returned to the producers of the clean energy to offset the higher cost of producing clean energy and the remainder is kept by the green tag clearing house.

Solar system owners selling their green tags

Your photovoltaic (PV) solar power system has a green tag value based on the amount of energy that it produces. The Solar Starters Program operated by the Northwest Solar Co-op currently purchases qualifying systems green tags for $.10 per Kilowatt hour produced on a five year contract. According to their records, the average 2kW system earns about $1,000 over the life of the program. For more information on selling your green tags, download Cascade Solar Consultants Solar Starters Guide.

Once you sell the green tags to your solar system, the power that it generates is no longer considered to be “green” power. The company that has purchased your green tags now has the right to promote themselves as the organization providing the environmental benefits of your system. This “loss” of green energy production is most often of concern to a business producing and promoting solar power than it is to an individual consumer/producer, but is worth noting in either case.

Individuals and Corporations Purchasing Green Tags

Green tags are purchased for a variety or reasons that range from an individual’s desire to further support sustainable energy production to companies interested in marketing themselves as a “carbon neutral” or sustainable organization. One of the biggest recent examples is the purchase of green tags by Esurance to offset the amount of carbon produced by concert goers driving to the Gorge for the annual Sasquatch Music Festival.

Related A&R Solar Resources
Request and Estimate
Carbon Neutral Event Directory- Coming Soon

More information about Green Tags
Bonneville Environmental Foundation- About Green Tags
EPA’s Ebook- Purchasing Green Energy