New Analysis: RGGI Will Cut Consumer Energy Costs and Increase Federal Investments in PA
Independent modeling finds RGGI would deliver $1.5 billion in reduced energy costs
June 8, 2023 /3BL Media/ - Today, Synapse Energy Economics issued findings from a new report independently produced for Evergreen Collaborative and Ceres exploring the economic benefits of Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Modeling in the report shows that Pennsylvania stands to reap billions of dollars in benefits thanks to reduced consumer energy costs and leveraging federal funds through participation in RGGI. The modeling results directly refute recent claims that RGGI will negatively impact consumer costs and identifies hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding that would be lost if state policymakers decide to withdraw from the compact.
RGGI is a cap-and-invest system for the region’s power sector and supports efforts to help residents, companies, and communities to invest in clean energy, energy efficiency, and other efforts to reduce pollution. The Synapse report finds that Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI will result in:
- An estimated $1.5 billion reduction in energy costs for Pennsylvania’s residents, businesses and industrial sector.
- A net decrease of $24 annually for the average household in utility bills.
- $930 million of additional federal funding coming to Pennsylvania through IRA tax credits for solar, wind and storage projects.
Additionally, RGGI will help Pennsylvania meet Gov. Josh Shapiro’s goal of achieving 30 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and net-zero emissions in the state by 2050.
Read the full policy report here.
“This report makes one thing crystal clear: Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI will keep money in Pennsylvanians’ pockets and bring a tidal wave of federal funding into the state,” said Justin Balik, Evergreen Collaborative state program director. “Pennsylvania communities deserve affordable energy, clean air to breathe, and the jobs and economic benefits of investing in our clean energy future. The federal funding is there—and it’s vital the Commonwealth doesn’t leave any money on the table.”
"Pennsylvania has been an energy and business powerhouse for the U.S. for generations. RGGI gives the Commonwealth an opportunity to play that role long into the future," said Alli Gold Roberts, Ceres senior director of state policy. "Companies and investors support RGGI because they know market-based programs can bring major benefits to residents, businesses, and industry while reducing emissions. From cleaner air to federal funding to reduced utility costs, this study proves that Pennsylvania has so much to gain from the program."
“This new analysis indicates that the rate impacts from Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI are minimal relative to the fossil-fuel driven price volatility that is already raising household energy bills in the Commonwealth—a full nine percent increase from 2021 to 2022,” said Jason Frost, Synapse Energy Economics senior associate. “Through investing RGGI funds in equitable clean energy investments, Pennsylvania can meet Gov. Shapiro’s climate goals and save consumers money—all while bringing in significant additional federal investment and maintaining economic competitiveness by deploying low-cost clean energy.”
The report comes as Gov. Shapiro’s stakeholder working group considers the impacts of RGGI on electric ratepayers and prepares recommendations to the Governor regarding RGGI and other energy policies. Pennsylvania currently exports the most electricity of any state in the country—and is responsible for the third-highest power sector emissions. Withdrawing from RGGI would not only prevent the state from cutting these emissions and reaching the goals set by Gov. Shapiro but would also forgo federal funding that would directly benefit Pennsylvania’s economy and communities.
By fully participating in RGGI, the Commonwealth has the opportunity to foster an equitable clean energy economy with millions of federal funding, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and maintain economic competitiveness across the region.
Evergreen Collaborative is leading the fight to put climate action at the top of America’s agenda. Since our founding in 2020, Evergreen has successfully influenced the national climate policy landscape by pairing bold policy products with campaign-style communications and advocacy tactics. We marry movement partnerships with direct engagement with decision-makers to deliver the greatest possible impact as fast as possible. Learn more at evergreenaction.com.
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. is a research and consulting firm specializing in energy, economic, and environmental topics. Since its inception in 1996, Synapse has grown to become a leader in providing rigorous analysis of the electric power sector for public interest and governmental clients. Synapse’s staff includes experts on a variety of energy and environmental economics, including resource planning, electricity dispatch and economic modeling, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation.
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