Program Turns "Triple-Play" by Delivering Environmental, Consumer, and Economic Benefits to Region
(NEW YORK, NY) – The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) states today released a report summarizing the consumer, economic, and environmental impact of investments made using proceeds from RGGI's CO2 allowance auctions. The report analyzed the lifetime impact of RGGI investments made from 2009 to 2011 in the nine RGGI states – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The report, Regional Investment of RGGI CO2 Allowance Proceeds, 2011 estimates that RGGI investments will offset the need for more than 27 million megawatt hours of electricity generation and 26.7 million British Thermal Units (BTUs) of energy generation. This savings will help avoid the emission of 12 million short tons of carbon dioxide pollution, an amount equivalent to taking 2 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year.
In addition to their environmental impact, RGGI investments have also had a positive impact on consumer energy bills and the regional clean energy economy. The report found that, from 2009 to 2011, RGGI investments:
Directly benefited 2.9 million households and 7,400 businesses.
Generated an estimated $1.3 billion in lifetime energy bill savings for utility customers.
Channeled over $617 million into the region's clean energy economy.
Returned $69 million in bill credits to an estimated 84,000 low-income families.
Helped an estimated 2,400 workers secure training in clean energy job skills.
"By helping to modernize the region's energy infrastructure, RGGI investments are lowering consumer utility bills through energy efficiency, supporting development of cleaner energy sources, and reducing emission from criteria pollutants and carbon dioxide," said Collin P. O'Mara, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Chair of the RGGI, Inc. Board of Directors. "Overall, RGGI investments have turned a triple-play' that delivers significant economic, environmental, and consumer benefits to businesses and families in the region."
Making an Impact
The report analyzes $617 million in RGGI investments from 2009 to 2011 across four main categories: energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy, direct energy bill assistance, and greenhouse gas abatement and climate change adaptation. Key findings include:
States in the region directed 66% of their RGGI investments to energy efficiency, 5% to clean and renewable energy, 17% to direct energy bill assistance, and 6% to greenhouse gas abatement and climate change adaptation programs.
RGGI investments in energy efficiency have already offset the need for over 1.6 million MWhs of electricity generation and are expected to offset the lifetime need for a total of almost 22 million MWhs of electricity generation.
RGGI investments in renewable energy have helped avoid the need for over 178,000 MWhs of electricity generation to date, and are expected to help avoid the need for over 2.9 million MWhs of electricity over their lifetime.
RGGI investments have reduced energy costs for 2.9 million households and businesses, realized through ratepayer savings of $204 million to date and $1.3 in savings estimated over the programs' lifetime.
"The RGGI program has provided its participating states with significant environmental, economic, and consumer returns on investment," said David Littell, a Commissioner of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and Vice-Chair of RGGI, Inc. "These investment returns have helped make the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions abatement, and are accelerating the region's transition to a clean energy economy."
The Full Report and Executive Summary are now available.
About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
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 U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Power sector CO2 emissions are capped at 165 million short tons per year through 2014. The cap will then be reduced by 2.5 percent in each of the four years 2015 through 2018, for a total reduction of 10 percent.
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 to demonstrate compliance at the end of each three-year control period. RGGI's second control period began on January 1, 2012 and extends through December 31, 2014. CO2 allowances issued by any state are usable across all state programs, so that the individual state CO2 budget trading programs, in aggregate, form one regional compliance market for CO2 emissions. For more information visit www.rggi.org.
About Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. (RGGI, Inc.) was created to provide technical and administrative services to the states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit: www.rggi.org/rggi.
The RGGI auctions are administered by RGGI, Inc. and run on an on-line platform provided by World Energy Solutions, Inc.