The report, Regional Investment of RGGI CO2 Allowance Proceeds, 2011 [Full Report and Executive Summary] 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.
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.