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$1.3 Million Comes to Maine for Energy Efficiency Programs from 10th RGGI Auction
December 3, 2010
Augusta, Maine—The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) held its 10th Auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances on Wednesday December 1st. RGGI Inc, the non-profit which administers the auctions, announced that 24,755,000 CO2 allowances for the first three-year control period (2009-2011) and 1,172,000 CO2 allowances for the second control period (2012-2014) sold at $1.86 per allowance. RGGI is a market-based cap-and-trade program used to regulate greenhouse gases. In total, the Auction yielded over $48,220,000 for the 10 states including Maine which participate in RGGI. Maine’s portion of the auction receipts will be $1,331,726; 100% of which will be used to benefit electricity consumers statewide through energy efficiency programs. In all, Maine has earned a total of $23,544,204 since the first auction over two years ago in September 2008.
“With each successful auction, RGGI shows that market-based climate protection programs work. RGGI boosts Maine’s economy by using auction proceeds to lower energy bills for Maine’s businesses and consumers, to create employment and to make our businesses more competitive,” said David Littell, Board Chair of the RGGI, Inc., and a Maine Public Utilities Commissioner. “With the sale of more than half of the offered CO2 allowances, the ten-state RGGI program continues to be a model for the nation.” Maine has invested $7.1 million of RGGI funds in its Large Project Energy Efficiency Grant Program which provides $100,000 - $1 million grants for large-scale energy efficiency projects, including combined heat and power systems. An example is the installation of a new heat exchanger at Madison Paper which will reduce costs by over $2 million a year for the company – enough to support retention of 18 employees. The 19 RGGI projects funded in 2009 and 2010 will avoid more than 459,817 metric tons of CO2 and save 533,876 megawatts per hour (MWh) over their lifetime.
Proceeds from all the RGGI auctions now total over $777,500,000. Across the region, states are investing over 80% of these funds in programs such as building retrofits, heating system replacements and appliance upgrades which save consumers money (up to 20-30% off energy bills), reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs. Investments are being made in programs which support for clean renewable energy sources including installation of solar, wind and geothermal energy generation systems in commercial and industrial facilities, and deployment of solar energy and hot water systems at homes and businesses. The next RGGI auction is scheduled for March 9th, 2011. Information is available at http://www.rggi.org/co2-auctions/information .
Background: The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative The 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in RGGI (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) have designed and implemented the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Power sector CO2 emissions are capped at 188 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. A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one short ton of CO2, as issued by a respective participating 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. The first control period for fossil fuel-fired electric generators under each state’s CO2 Budget Trading Program took effect on January 1, 2009 and extends through December 31, 2011. CO2 allowances for the first control period (2009-2011) may be used to meet current compliance obligations, or may be banked for use in future control periods. CO2 allowances for the second control period (2012-2014) can only be used to meet compliance obligations beginning in 2012. CO2 allowances issued by any participating state are usable across all state programs, so that the ten individual state CO2 Budget Trading Programs, in aggregate, form one regional compliance market for CO2 emissions. For more information, visit: http://www.rggi.org
The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, and Dig Safe.
Contact: Evelyn deFrees, 207-287-6141; or email@example.com
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