I just got my monthly electricity bill from Ameren UE and guess what. They are offering me the chance to go green, or as they are phrasing it "support clean renewable energy." How, do you ask. By signing up for "Pure Power". What this does is allow Ameren to buy "certificates" from its own green energy branch. No, I'm not getting electricity from renewable energy. Instead I get to pay for Ameren to charge another area (my state fixes Ameren's rates because it is a state sponsored monopoly) for the priviledge of getting green energy.
So let me go through this again... I pay extra for nothing, the people getting the energy are (likely) getting charged more, and Ameren gets a tax credit for supplying green energy. Oh, and if I were to put solar panels on my roof or something similar, Ameren won't buy back, or even give credits, for the extra energy I produce.
Update: News.com is running a much more in depth article on the FTC beginning to look into these tactics.
Update 2: Ameren is now awarding companies that give a lot to this Pure Power campaign, and the number two corporation listed: Ameren UE!