When RGGI was being developed, opponents said that it would raise electricity costs and hurt the economy. As it turns out, they were wrong on both counts. Since RGGI was put in place, electricity prices in RGGI states have declined 5.7% while they have risen 8.6% in the rest of the country, and the economies of the participating states have grown 31% faster than the rest of the country, according to the non-partisan Acadia Center. What happened? One part of the story is that the price of natural gas declined. But perhaps even more importantly, RGGI helped the Massachusetts energy sector become more efficient. Proceeds from the sale of RGGI credits fund programs such as the popular Mass Save that have provided consumers and businesses with billions of dollars in incentives to upgrade insulation, install new appliances, or make other cost-saving energy-efficiency changes. Programs like RGGI have contributed to Massachusetts being named the most energy-efficient state in the country for the 9th consecutive year. Lowering demand has helped drive down the cost that consumers pay for electricity.
Read the full article from Gloucester Daily Times here.