San Marcos opening signups for renewable energy credit program

The City of San Marcos Electric Utility (SMEU) is opening up signups to residents for the new Council-approved Renewable Energy Credit Program.

The city says the program will begin May 1 and allows customers to purchase energy metered and verified from renewable sources, including wind and solar power.

A Renewable Energy Credit (REC) represents one-megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable energy. Purchasing a number of RECs that equal the number of MWh of energy used allows customers to power residences or businesses with 100% renewable energy, says the city.


"By purchasing RECs, customers not only power their home or business with renewable energy, but also contribute to renewable energy production and promote sustainability projects," said Tyler Hjorth, Assistant Director of Public Services – Electric Utility. "We’re excited to offer this new program to our customers and have already had strong interest from the community to participate."

Renewable energy capacity has increased statewide since the Public Utility Commission of Texas established the Renewable Energy Credit Program in 1999. By 2010, Texas’ renewable energy capacity increased by 10,000 MW statewide, attributable to the program. 

Renewable Energy Credit Costs

The city says that RECs are a certifiable way to buy and sell renewable energy as each REC is assigned a unique serial number, which guarantees that transactions can be tracked and recorded.

SMEU purchases RECs through ERCOT at market price. Fees are evaluated and adjusted periodically based on the market, and customers are only charged for the amount of energy used. 

A sample copy of a bill with a REC (City of San Marcos)


A sample copy of a bill with a REC (City of San Marcos)

Customers that choose to enroll in the Renewable Energy Credit Program will see a "Renewable Energy Adder" charge on their monthly bill, as illustrated in the sample bill above. The additional $5/kWh charge covers all costs associated with RECs, including transaction and administrative fees for buying, tracking, recording, and retiring the credits.

Customers that do not elect to enroll in the Renewable Energy Credit Program will not be charged for costs associated with the program.

Enrolling in the Renewable Energy Credit Program

SMEU customers are invited to enroll in the Renewable Energy Credit Program beginning Saturday, May 1 on the Customer Connect website. Customers will opt-in for a period lasting one year. Prior to the end of their enrollment period, customers will be contacted with rates for the upcoming year and will be automatically re-enrolled unless they contact SMEU to opt-out.

Following enrollment, new customers will see the "Renewable Energy Adder" charge at the beginning of their next billing cycle. Market prices for RECs may vary over time, however, customers will only be charged the price stated during sign-up or renewal despite market fluctuations, says the city.

For more information about the Renewable Energy Credit Program, residents can contact San Marcos Electric Utility at 512-393-8383.