The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has released a report identifying the economic and environmental benefits of the RGGI ‘cap and trade’ program for the electricity industry in the nine states where it has been fully operational since 2008. These states are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Revenues from the sale of allowances are used by the individual states to address energy and GHG related policy objectives.
Key findings are that:
- the program has created an investment of $700 million investment in the region’s energy future: reducing energy bills, helping businesses become more competitive, accelerating the development of local clean and renewable energy sources, and limiting the release of harmful pollutants into the air and atmosphere.
- over 16,000 job-years of work were created as a result of investments made during the first three years of the program.
- 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 2012.
- RGGI investments in energy efficiency are expected to return more than $1.8 billion in lifetime energy bill savings to consumers in the region.
- RGGI investments in direct bill assistance have returned more than $122 million in bill credits to more than 2 million participating households.
- RGGI investments in GHG abatement are expected to avoid the release of 260,000 short tons of harmful CO2 pollution into the atmosphere.
- RGGI related projects have offset the need for approximately 8.5 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity generation, and have saved more than 37 million mmBTU of fossil fuels.
Details of the findings organized by state are contained in the 32 page report which is available, along with a brief summary, at http://www.rggi.org/docs/PressReleases/PR022414_2012ProceedsReport.pdf