RGGI : A great American initiative on efficiency


According to the NRDC : ” ten northeastern and mid-Atlantic states are working together to shift their energy dollars to cleaner, local, job-creating resources “ through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

” RGGI is a “cap-and-invest” program whereby the states set a regional limit on carbon pollution, sell pollution permits, and invest most of the proceeds in energy efficiency and other clean-energy technologies.

Given the most encouraging results in only two years (the program generated $789 million, or 555 million euros, so far), I hope this great idea will be spread to the entire United States.

Here are some details from the official website :

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first market-based regulatory program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have capped and will reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10 percent by 2018.

This seems to be the best idea so far in the country, and this albeit it isn’t really ambitious…

Here are some extracts of the NRDC article :

Less Pollution: Just as designed, RGGI is a leading factor in bringing carbon pollution in the region down 30 percent. By putting a price on carbon dioxide, RGGI pushes utilities to be more careful about how much of it they emit. (…)

Regional Economic Gains: RGGI’s success isn’t just a win for our atmosphere. What’s most heartening about the initiative is the way it cuts carbon pollution while creating a host of economic gains for the region, largely for the benefit of consumers, unemployed workers, and small businesses.

RGGI generated more than $789 million in its first two years and invested the vast majority of that money into projects that promote energy efficiency, support renewable energy, create clean-energy jobs and train workers to fill them. In fact, 80 percent of the RGGI revenue has gone towards strategic energy programs.

Consumer Savings: Thanks to RGGI, energy costs for participating consumers in the region are an average of 15 to 30 percent lower than they would be without the program, especially at peak times. And RGGI has gone one step further to help lower consumer costs, putting more than $110 million into programs that help low- and middle-income households in the region with their energy bills, both through direct assistance and through programs that weatherize low-income homes.

Even consumers who don’t participate in efficiency programs benefit because those who do participate reduce demand and reduce the market price of electricity for everyone.

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