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|RGGI Report: Investments Generating Consumer Benefits|
|Published Thursday, October 5, 2017|
The nine states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), including NH, released a report tracking the investment of proceeds generated by RGGI’s regional CO2 allowance auctions in 2015, which shows more than $410 million in RGGI proceeds were invested in programs including energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy, greenhouse gas abatement, and direct bill assistance. The largest share of the investments—64 percent—was directed to energy efficiency, followed by clean and renewable energy at 16 percent.
Over the lifetime of the projects, these 2015 investments are projected to provide participating households and businesses with $2.31 billion in energy bill savings, as well as avoiding the use of 9 million MWh of electricity and 28 million MMBtu of fossil fuel.
Investments over the course of RGGI’s entire track record through the year 2015 are projected to provide a total of more than $7 billion in energy bill savings to participating households and businesses. These benefits build on the trends already seen in the region, which has experienced declining power sector pollution coupled with economic growth.
For more details on both 2015 and cumulative investments and benefits, see the full report, Investment of RGGI Proceeds in 2015, by clicking here.
"From the start of the program, RGGI's auctioning of allowances and reinvestment of proceeds has been praised as an innovative and effective program design element," says Katie Dykes, chair of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and chair of the RGGI Inc. board of directors. "The reinvestment of RGGI auction proceeds has driven significant bill savings, pollution reductions, and other consumer benefits. For instance, in 2015, Connecticut invested its auction proceeds in clean energy and energy efficiency programs throughout the state, avoiding over 450,000 tons of CO2 emissions and helping families and businesses save $149 million dollars on their energy bills over the lifetime of the funded measures."
Participating states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, NH, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, forming the first mandatory market-based regulatory program in the U.S. aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The 2017 RGGI cap is 84.3 million short tons. The RGGI cap declines 2.5 percent each year until 2020. The RGGI states also include interim adjustments to the RGGI cap to account for banked CO2 allowances. The 2017 RGGI adjusted cap is 62.5 million short tons.
RGGI is composed of individual CO2 budget trading programs in each state, based on each state’s independent legal authority. A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one short ton of CO2, as issued by a respective state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions for each three-year control period. RGGI’s third control period began on Jan. 1, 2015 and extends through Dec. 31, 2017. For more information visit www.rggi.org.
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