The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the nation's first mandatory, market-based cap and trade program to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Under the program, which began in 2009, participating RGGI states - RI, CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NY, VT (and NJ which withdrew last year) - established a regional cap on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric generating facilities, and required these power plants to possess a tradable CO2 allowance for each ton of CO2 they emit. Under RGGI, CO2 allowances are distributed through quarterly allowance auctions.
States invest the proceeds from the RGGI CO2 allowance auctions in a variety of consumer benefit programs, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, direct energy bill assistance and other greenhouse gas reduction programs. Each RGGI participating state directs its own strategy for the investment of CO2 allowance auction proceeds. The allowable use of auction proceeds in Rhode Island is governed by §23-82-6 of the Rhode Island General Laws. Rhode Island primarily invests CO2 allowance proceeds in energy efficiency and conservation, and renewable energy technologies.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created to support development and implementation of RGGI. The Board of Directors of RGGI, Inc. is composed of agency heads of energy and environmental regulatory agencies in each RGGI state, and decisions are made by this board. In Rhode Island, the Department of Environmental Management Director and the Commissioner of the Office of Energy Resources are on the RGGI Inc. Board.
Office of Energy Resources