Letter of Position on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
I am writing on behalf of Environment New Hampshire and our citizen members to urge you to oppose HB 1490 as amended because the bill effectively cuts energy efficiency funding from RGGI in half and limits the tools at our disposal to encourage innovation in the clean energy economy.
RGGI is a successful program. Not only has RGGI lowered pollution and reduced our reliance on fossil fuels, but it has helped New Hampshire’s businesses, residents and local governments use energy more efficiently, which saves money and keeps energy dollars in our local economy. Already, RGGI has sparked $27 million in clean energy investments across the state.
The best thing about RGGI is that it puts a price on pollution and converts that to funding for clean energy and energy efficiency. As amended, HB 1490 effectively cuts those clean energy investments in half. With the March 16th auction price coming in at $1.93/ton or carbon, the $1 threshold in the bill would deny New Hampshire close to half of the clean energy funding currently available through the program. New Hampshire should be increasing investments in energy efficiency for the health of our economy and our environment, not cutting it
Secondly, as amended HB1490 diverts all RGGI funding to the utility run CORE programs. While we strongly support effectively run utility energy efficiency programs, it is important for the state to have other tools to help local governments, businesses and homeowners to take action to reduce energy use and promote clean energy. By funding a variety of energy efficiency projects, businesses can compete to create innovative energy efficiency measures and other low-cost techniques.
RGGI has already delivered real benefits to New Hampshire and we stand to gain much more in terms of lower energy bills, reduced pollution and improved energy independence by keeping the program intact. Environment New Hampshire urges you to oppose HB1490 as amended.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments at 603-229-3222.
Advocate, Environment New Hampshire