Vermont Receives Record Funding for State Energy Efficiency Efforts

Vermont Receives Record Funding for State Energy Efficiency Efforts:
Markowitz Announces Results of Recent RGGI Auction

MONTPELIER. Deb Markowitz, Secretary of Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources, announced the result of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives' (RGGI) 29th auction of CO2 allowances. Vermont uses the proceeds from RGGI auctions to support Vermont's energy efficiency programs.  Markowitz said, "I am pleased to report that the latest RGGI auction is the most successful to date, with $1,156,675 coming to Vermont from the sale of 192,139 allowances."

The RGGI is a cooperative effort by Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to administer a multi-state cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the region’s fossil-fuel fired electricity generating utilities. RGGI is the first mandatory market-based regulatory program in the US to reduce GHG emissions. The clearing price for allowances has ranged from $1.93 to the current high of $6.02. In the last auction Vermont received $648,609 for 117,929 allowances. Over the life of the program, RGGI brought 16 million dollars to Vermont. “This is an excellent example of how cap-and-trade systems can work to benefit Vermonters while reducing carbon pollution that causes global climate change,” Markowitz added. 

RGGI states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Secretary Markowitz has participated in ongoing discussions between the RGGI states looking back on the successful auction, and forward to implementation of the recently released Clean Power Plan (CPP).  Although Vermont is exempt from these new clean air rules, how our neighboring states seek to comply with the rules matter to Vermont because of our participation in RGGI. "The RGGI states are well-placed to achieve the goals of the CPP based on their adoption of climate change mitigation policies, investment in energy efficiency, and leadership in the transition to a clean energy infrastructure," said Markowitz. "I am confident that RGGI will continue to exist as a meaningful example of a regional approach to combatting greenhouse gas emission.

In Vermont, the Public Service Board manages auction proceeds, and almost all of the proceeds are deposited into the Electric Efficiency Fund for building efficiency programs managed by Efficiency Vermont.  As of 2014, Vermont had invested nearly $12 million in RGGI proceeds in local energy efficiency programs. “Since this program was founded, power sector carbon pollution in the RGGI region has declined more than 40 percent,” said Markowitz. “This truly is a program that works for everyone.”