Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund (GHGERF)
The Sustainable Energy Division assists the Commission in administering the Renewable Energy Fund (see Puc Rule 2507; see also HB873) and the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund (See Puc Rule 2604; see also HB1434) to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and initiatives in New Hampshire.
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund (GHGERF) is a dedicated fund created by New Hampshire legislation, RSA 125-O: 23. The source of the funding comes from New Hampshire’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI): RGGI is the regional cap and trade program aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the electric power sector across ten participating states in the northeast. Under RGGI, the amount of emissions are inventoried and then an emission cap is established at a level below current levels. For more information on RGGI check the DES website.
New Hampshire adopted the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), HB 1434, in 2008, as part of a Northeast and Mid-Atlantic ten-state initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. The initiative creates a market for emissions allowances through a regional cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions from area power plants. New Hampshire emissions allowances are sold at quarterly auctions and the proceeds fund the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction (GHGER) Fund.
The proceeds of these allowance auctions are portioned out among the state participants, and in New Hampshire, the statute directs that the proceeds of each auction flow into the GHGERF. The GHGERF is administered by the PUC, which is responsible for distributing the funds to programs across the state. These funds support energy efficiency, conservation, and demand response programs in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated in New Hampshire. As of June, 2010 the GHGERF has seen revenue of $24.3 million.
10% of RGGI [auction] funds are set aside to help low-income residential customers reduce their energy use and the remainder of the funds are distributed through competitive grants or adjudicative proceedings. The First Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued in February of 2009. The first round of grant awards went to 30 applicants. These awards totaled $17.7 million, and an additional $1.2 million was granted to StayWarmNH. Grants were awarded to towns and schools for audits and retrofits, revolving loan funds (BFA and CDFA), large businesses (LighTec and Propell), electric utilities, non-profits (the Shaker Museum, NH Institute Of Art, and Crotched Mountain), educational institutions (NHEC, UNH, and Dartmouth), job training (DRED/Lakes Region Community College), and to grassroots organizations (NH Farm Energy, PAREI, and SNHRC&D).
A second RFP was issued in May 2010. The scope of eligible programs has been narrowed since the first RFP, focusing on three categories including large-scale energy users, affordable housing, and continuing programs of 2009 grant awardees.
For further information on RGGI click here.
Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Fund
2010 Grant Program
2009 Grant Program
RGGI Annual Reports to NH Legislature
Prepared jointly by the Department of Environmental Services and the Public Utilities Commission, this report summarizes trends in New Hampshire's electric rates, the prices and availability of RGGI carbon allowances, the allocation and spending of auction revenues, and the impact of proposed federal CO2 cap and trade programs on New Hampshire's RGGI program.