Each state directs its own strategy for investing RGGI proceeds in programs that benefit consumers and build a clean energy economy. Below are just a few examples of individuals, companies and cities that have benefited from energy efficiency, renewable energy and job training programs funded with RGGI proceeds.
With help from a RGGI-funded grant provided by Efficiency Maine, Maine Wild Blueberry Co. has invested nearly $900,000 to improve its competiveness though energy efficiency. Grant funds are being invested to replace five out-of-date refrigeration units and air coils with a state-of-the-art efficient system – saving the company more than $171,000 in electricity costs annually. The savings are enabling the company to maintain competitive pricing and enhance job security for its 40 employees.
NHNRG, a full-service energy auditing and building performance contractor headquartered in Lisbon, New Hampshire, is just one company to emerge from a new RGGI-funded training program for building analysts at Lakes Region Community College (LRCC). The company was founded by Shad Lawton and Jamie Myers, both students in the October 2009 Littleton class. As a company, Lawton and Myers have conducted more than 140 energy audits and performed more than 80 building retrofits. “We had a very busy year in 2010, but there is enough housing stock in the North Country alone to keep several companies busy for years to come,” said Mr. Lawton.
The Children’s Medical Center in Hartford is just one of nearly 4,600 Connecticut businesses to cut energy costs through the state’s utility-administered energy efficiency programs in 2010. Thanks to finacial incentives provided through the Energy Opportunities Program and funded in part by RGGI proceeds, the Hospital installed a new, high-efficiency heating and cooling system, which will improve comfort for patients – and save the hospital more than $23,000 per year.
John Greg is just one of 67 people at Greenfield Community College to receive energy efficiency job training through MassGREEN, a new program for building specialists. After graduating from Greenfield’s first class in the fall of 2010, John secured a position as an energy efficiency specialist at Cape SAVE, a weatherization firm in South Yarmouth. John is now supervising a crew of four people and earning more than $20 per hour. MassGREEN is funded jn part by Massachusetts’ RGGI proceeds.
Sappi Fine Paper’s Somerset Mill is improving its competiveness and its environmental stewardship with a $300,000 RGGI-funded energy efficiency grant provided through Efficiency Maine’s Large Projects Grant Program. The grant covers about half the cost of the project, which is expected to save enough electricity annually to power 300 typical Maine households for a full year.
SunLight General Capital has begun construction on a $1 million, 200 kW solar electric power generating project at Ansonia High School in Astonia, Conn. The high school -- the city's largest consumer of energy -- is expected to generate nearly 230,000 kWh of clean, solar energy each year as a result of the project. The project, funded by SunLight General Capital and a RGGI-funded grant of more than $400,000 from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, will be built at no expense to the City of Ansonia.
Caroline and Arthur Holmwood of Greenfield Center, New York, saw their energy bill decline by 50 percent after receiving a new boiler and improved insulation through EmPower New York.The EmPower New York program, which incentivizes energy education, energy audits and on-the-spot energy efficiency upgrades in oil-heated low-income households, saves participating homeowners an average of 125 gallons of oil and approximately $500 annually. “Over the summer our electric bill was cut in half compared to the year before, and we expect savings during the heating season as well from our new boiler. It’s 97 percent efficient,” Mrs. Holmwood said.