Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs) and Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGOs) are the three types of green energy certificates that generators of electricity from renewable sources are entitled to claim subject to eligibility.
Generators of all sizes can claim 1 ROC for every 1MW of renewable electricity generated, and a microgenerator depending on its size and the technology being used could expect to receive up to 1-2 ROCs per year. The price of a ROC is subject to the market and is affected by various other factors, but microgenerators could currently expect to receive approx £20-£30 per ROC, but it depends on the contract with the energy supplier.
Generators can also claim 1 LEC for each 1MWh produced. Utilities need to source these LECs so they can exempt business consumers from Climate change levy - which is £4.41 on 1 MWh of electricity. So generators can sell their LECS to these utilities or other third parties, at a price agreed between them.
REGOs are issued for every Kilowatt hour. REGOs do not have a monetary value in the same way as ROCs and LECs and there is no formal arrangement for REGOs to be traded (although there is no legal barrier to prevent trades occurring). The main purpose of REGOs is as a demonstration that renewable electricity has been produced. This is particularly useful for renewable generators, such as existing large hydro plants, who are not eligible under the RO. In addition fuel mix disclosure requirements placed on suppliers will mean that suppliers are likely to want to purchase renewable electricity from generators with the associated REGO as they are required to present REGOs to meet their fuel mix disclosure obligations.
Brief guides to each of these certificates are available below. They are designed as an overview to help microgenerators decide which, if any, certificates they will claim.