RGGI green house gas auction fuels clean energy economy

$80.4 Million in proceeds

By Ramona du Houx

June 11th, 2010 

NEW YORK, NY – The ten states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first mandatory, market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, today announced the results of the second quarterly auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances in 2010. The auction on June 9th, yielded $80,465,566.78 for states to invest in the clean energy economy.

“Wednesday’s auction continues RGGI’s track record of successful implementation,” said David Littell, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Chair of the RGGI, Inc. Board of Directors. “As we work to advance legislation at the federal level, the RGGI programs continue to be a model for strong national policy, developing best practices for the implementation of cap-and-trade programs.”

Proceeds from all the RGGI auctions now total more than $662.8 million. States are investing these proceeds in consumer benefit programs that further reduce emissions, save consumers money and create jobs. Overall, states are investing the vast majority of proceeds to improve energy efficiency and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies.

“Every dollar invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy advances the clean energy economy,” said Amey Marrella, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. “RGGI states are putting auction proceeds to work in innovative programs to secure a cleaner environment, save consumers money and put people back to work.”

40,685,585 CO2 allowances for the first three-year control period (2009-2011) offered in Wednesday’s auction sold at a price of $1.88.

In a parallel offering, the RGGI states also auctioned CO2 allowances for the second three-year control period (2012-2014). A total of 2,137,993 CO2 allowances for the second control period sold at a price of $1.86.

Overall, states are investing roughly 60 percent of the proceeds from RGGI CO2 allowance auctions in energy efficiency, the most cost-effective resource for reducing energy demand in the near-term. Energy efficiency measures, such as building retrofits, heating system replacements and appliance upgrades, save consumers 20 to 30 percent off their energy bills.

While states maximize near-term energy efficiency opportunities, they are also investing in renewable energy sources for a long-term clean energy future. Across the region, funds are being used to install solar, wind and geothermal energy generation systems in commercial and industrial facilities and to deploy solar energy and hot water systems on homes and businesses.

States are beginning to document both the direct consumer benefits and the broad economic gains that the investment of RGGI proceeds is bringing to the region. For example, in Connecticut, electric and gas energy efficiency programs, funded in part with RGGI proceeds, are producing more than $4.00 in benefits for every $1.00 invested. New York is showing a greater than 8 to 1 benefit for every dollar invested in renewable energy systems.

“Expanded efficiency programs, funded in part by RGGI, will generate roughly $6 billion in consumer energy savings in Massachusetts over the next three years,” said Phil Giudice, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. “The same programs are also expected to create or maintain nearly 4,000 jobs for contractors, HVAC technicians, architects and other specialists, also over three years.”