The region’s controversial cap-and-trade system is working–at least as far as grant-funded energy cuts are concerned. A new report released by UNH-based Carbon Solutions New England found that between the summers of 2010 and 2011, companies cut their emissions by 18,900 metric tons. As David Brooks reports for the Nashua Telegraph:
“Grants from money paid by electric utilities as part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative…helped businesses reduce energy use by more than $5 million in the second year of the program, according to a new analysis…
For every dollar invested, the report said, there would be a return of $4.67 in energy savings over the lifetime of the projects: The lifetime savings from the $18.1 million spent from the fund are projected to be $84.5 million in energy costs based on current energy prices.”
As Brooks points out, RGGI has takes some heat at the statehouse,”because the cost of buying carbon-dioxide offsets is paid by utilities like PSNH, and thus helps raise electricity rates.” Supporters, however, argue that over the long run, cap-and-trade will cut down energy use, thus saving consumers money in the end.