FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 3, 2019
Contact: Julian Boggs, KEEA Policy Director, 215-910-4790, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenhouse Gas Initiative Historic Opportunity for Energy Efficiency
Harrisburg – Governor Wolf issued an Executive Order today initiating the process to have Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. RGGI is a multi-state compact across 10 Northeastern states to price carbon pollution and reinvest the proceeds into state economies. Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA) Executive Director Matt Elliott issued the following statement:
“KEEA applauds Governor Wolf for taking this bold step for Pennsylvania’s energy future. As a trade association representing nearly 70 companies engaged in the energy efficiency industry, KEEA member businesses stand ready to help meet the goals of the climate policy by helping Pennsylvania businesses and households save on their energy bills with more efficient appliances, buildings, lighting, and more.”
Under RGGI, the state’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide must pay for every ton of pollution emitted into the atmosphere, rather than polluting for free. Across the ten states that currently participate in RGGI, more than half of the proceeds from carbon pricing is invested in energy efficiency programs that help customers save on energy bills and further reduce carbon pollution. A review of RGGI programs by the Analysis Group estimated that participating states realized $1.4 billion in net economic value over the last two years studied.
“By not participating in RGGI, Pennsylvania has been leaving money on the table and forgoing economic development opportunities for years. But we have to get this right: investing RGGI revenue back into energy efficiency programs for businesses and residents is the only way to save consumers money and grow the economy while maximizing reductions to carbon pollution. We look forward to working with Governor Wolf and the Legislature to seize this opportunity and make an historic investment into energy efficiency in Pennsylvania,” said Elliott.
Pennsylvania boasted more than 68,000 energy efficiency jobs in 2018, the bulk of which are local jobs that cannot be outsourced. The state’s Act 129 efficiency and conservation programs deliver 6.4 billion dollars in benefits back to consumers by reducing energy consumption across the grid and avoiding the need for new, expensive power upgrades. A well-designed RGGI program would build on the success of energy efficiency in PA, but only if revenue is properly allocated to programs that reduce energy demand.