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According to a report issued on November 15, 2001 by the Analysis Group in Boston, MA, the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) added $1.6 billion in value to the regional economy over the past three years. $92 million of this went to Maine, creating at least 918 jobs.
The report, entitled, “The Economic Impacts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on Ten Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States,” said that among other benefits within the region, customers saved nearly $1.1 billion on electricity bills, and an additional $174 million on natural gas and heating oil bills, for a total of $1.3 billion in savings over the next decade through installation of energy efficiency measures using funding from RGGI auction proceeds to date.
Each state has used its share of auction proceeds according to its own autonomous will. Maine has been able to spend nearly $22,831,749 on energy efficiency programs, as well as other utility programs, audits and benchmarking from its share of RGGI proceeds.
The report points out that in addition to creating 16,000 jobs in the 10 states, the reduced demand for fossil fuels resulting from the auctions has kept more than $765 million in the local economy.
How does it work?
RGGI requires major power producers to buy allowances at auction for each ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit. Power plant owners have spent roughly $912 million from mid-2008 through September 2011 to buy allowances from states. The report released today is the first to track these expenditures by power plant owners in auctions to buy CO2 allowances, the impacts on electricity prices paid by consumers, and the auction proceeds disbursed to the states and subsequently spent on different projects.
Results from the study are expected to be published in the December edition of "The Electricity Journal", a leading policy journal for the U.S. electric power industry.