Investments made in energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy, and other strategic energy programs from proceeds from cap-and-trade program Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative‘s CO2 allowance auctions will return more than $2 billion in lifetime energy bill savings to more than 3 million participating households and more than 12,000 businesses in the region, according to a report from the body.
To date, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that participate in the RGGI region have used more than $700 million of RGGI proceeds to invest in energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy, direct energy bill assistance, and greenhouse gas abatement programs, according to Regional Investment of RGGI CO2 Allowance Proceeds, 2012.
These RGGI proceed investments are projected to offset the need for approximately 8.5 million MWh of electricity generation, save more than 37 million mmBTU of fossil fuels, and avoid the release of approximately 8 million short tons of carbon dioxide pollution into the atmosphere over their lifetime.
Programs designed by individual states, such as the examples below, channel RGGI investments to meet each state’s economic and energy needs:
- Connecticut’s Small Business Energy Advantage Program
- The Delaware Weatherization Assistance Program
- Efficiency Maine’s Business Incentive Program
- Maryland’s EmPOWERing Clean Communities
- Massachusetts’ Green Communities Designation and Grant Program
- The New Hampshire Pay for Performance Program
- New York’s Cleaner, Greener Communities
- Rhode Island’s Large Business Revolving Loan Fund
- Efficiency Vermont’s Home Performance with Energy Star
In addition, in concert with the broader energy policies of each RGGI state, these investments are making the region a national leader in energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy, and greenhouse gas emissions abatement. RGGI says. For example, six RGGI states were ranked among the top ten states nationwide for energy efficiency investments by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy in 2013.
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the second RGGI control period (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) have implemented the first mandatory market-based regulatory program in the US to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The 2014 RGGI cap is 91 million short tons. The RGGI cap then declines 2.5 percent each year from 2015-2020.
The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions are seeing unprecedented savings in electricity and natural gas use, thanks to a combined commitment to invest over $2.5 billion dollars in energy efficiency through 2013, according to a report by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships released in January.