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Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Presentation to American Council of Engineering Companies of New Hampshire January 15, 2008 New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Thomas S. Burack. Climate Change Impacts on New Hampshire.

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regional greenhouse gas initiative

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Presentation to

American Council of Engineering Companies of New Hampshire

January 15, 2008

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Commissioner

Thomas S. Burack

climate change impacts on new hampshire
Climate ChangeImpacts on New Hampshire
  • Trends indicate NH is experiencing impacts now
  • Extreme storm events
  • More rain in winter
  • Less snow cover

Flooding in NH

October 2005

May 2006

April 2007

  • Peak flows in many rivers greater than 100 year flood
  • Millions of dollars in state and individual losses
future economic impacts to new hampshire northeast climate impacts assessment 2007
By late in the century (without reducing GHG emissions)

Winter snow season cut in half

Sea-level rise up to nearly three feet

More than 60 days with temperatures over 90°F in most cities

4 to 28 days with temperatures over 100°F (compared with one or two days per year historically).

FutureEconomic Impacts to New HampshireNortheast Climate Impacts Assessment (2007)
global cost of no action stern review uk treasury 2006
Extreme weather alone – 0.5-1% world GDP annually

Total cost of taking no action equivalent to reduction in consumption per head of 5-20% annually

Less costly to take actions now than to delay

Risk to world economy on the order of multi-national world conflict

Insurance market already reacting

Global Cost of No Action(Stern Review UK Treasury 2006)

NH CO2 (equivalent) Emissions by Sector





Forestry and






Electric Utilities



Electric Utilities

Agriculture, Forestry


and Waste






rggi cap trade program
Regional cap on emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants >25 megawatts

Cap (10 state region) 188 million allowances

1 allowance = 1 ton

NH Budget 8.6 million allowances

Majority of allowances will be sold in regional auction

RGGI Cap & Trade Program
rggi cap levels
2-Phase CO2 Caps (gradual, keeps cost low)

stabilization 2009 – 2014 (no absolute reductions, but reductions from business-as-usual)

Phase I Regional Cap = 188,076,976 tons

Phase I NH Budget = 8,620,460 tons

10% reduction 2015 - 2018

(2.5% per year for 4 years)

Built-in Review of Program in 2012

RGGI Cap Levels
Power plants must have enough allowances to equal their emissions by the end of the three year period

Can buy allowances (regional auction) or offset allowances

Unlimited banking of allowances


RGGI Offset Projects

  • 1st set – methane capture, SF6 (electric insulator), afforestation, end-use efficiency
  • Initially limited to 3.3% of each source’s emissions
  • Offsets may come from RGGI region or from another US state at 1:1
  • Safety valves built in to increase use of offsets for economic relief if necessary
rggi impact on nh
9 other states going forward with RGGI

Regional energy prices will be affected by RGGI whether NH participates or not

Only way to mitigate costs is to participate and use auction revenues

RGGI impact on NH
regional leadership
Driving federal action

Western Climate Initiative includes Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, British Columbia, and Manitoba and 10 observers including 3 Canadian provinces and Sonora, Mexico

Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Manitoba (Indiana, Ohio, and S. Dakota also signed as observers)

Investment in more efficient energy market is positive for NH regardless of climate change

Regional Leadership

Is RGGI Significant?

  • RGGI would represent the seventh highest emitting developed country
  • The RGGI cap (188,076,976 tons) is similar to the emissions of Australia, France, or Italy
  • There is no “silver bullet” but RGGI is part of the “silver buckshot”

Benefits of HB 1434

  • Helps to mitigate long-term energy costs via greater investment in energy efficiency
  • Creates a market signal that encourages development of cleaner and, in many cases, more local energy sources
  • Increases our energy independence with more local energy sources: keeping more dollars local
  • Starts to mitigate our GHG emissions to avoid the most deleterious projections of climate change impacts

Downside of not joining RGGI

  • Roughly half of NH’s supply is purchased from the regional market
  • As a consequence, NH electric prices will be affected by RGGI
  • No benefit of sale of NH allowances
  • No seat at table – no influence on program
estimated impact to business electricity costs
2006 average monthly bill

(UNH estimate from FERC Form 1)

Small $308 (81,000 accounts)

Large $38,000 (350 accounts)

Not joining RGGI

Increase to average monthly bill

Estimated Impact to Business Electricity Costs
potential mitigation of monthly business electricity costs
Potential Mitigation of Monthly Business Electricity Costs

Net change from investment in energy efficiency compared to not joining RGGI

energy efficiency regional priority
Record peak demand in summer >28,000 MW

Peak demand increase twice as fast as average load growth

Costly new capacity may be needed to meet demand reached for only a few hours or days our of the year

Reducing electricity use by 5% during peak times will save consumers $580 million a year (ISO – NE June 2006)

Energy Efficiency – Regional Priority
major potential for energy efficiency improvements
RGGI bill proposing a “fuel-neutral” fund

Technology continuing to improve

Recognize opportunities vary

Increased energy efficiency overall – can avoid costly new capacity – reducing everyone’s energy costs

Major Potential for Energy Efficiency Improvements
fluorescent light evolution
Fluorescent Light Evolution

34–40 Watts 32 Watts 28 Watts

1950’s – 1980’s late 1980’s – 1990’s Last 5 yrs

unh economic analysis 2007
NH participation is lower cost overall to NH than not joining

Lowest long-term net utility cost is to auction allowances and put revenues into energy efficiency

Positive impact on employment and the overall NH economy

UNH Economic Analysis 2007
opportunity for economic development
NH tradition of innovation and leadership

NH needs to foster R&D development of new technologies and related ancillary services

Current examples – Power Span

GT Solar

Opportunity for Economic Development
what s the ultimate source of greenhouse gases


Electricity, Heating/Cooling and Transportation

Every megawatt-hour of electricity used produces 1,100 lbs. of CO2

Every gallon of gasoline burned produces 20 lbs. of CO2

What’s the Ultimate Source of Greenhouse Gases?
  • Make your buildings ENERGY STARS (or Leed certified).
  • Light up your life (with Energy Star qualified lighting products).
  • Establish “turn off” and “unplug” policies for electronic equipment and lights.
  • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (use double-sided printing and copying)
  • Green your fleet and driving habits!




Appliances (dishwashers, furnaces, stoves, washer machines)

Office Equipment

reduce fuel consumption in motor vehicles
Reduce fuel consumption in motor vehicles

Establish fuel economy standards for new purchases

Establish anti-idling policies

Promote carpooling and teleconferencing

Less Greenhouse Gases –

Less Dependence on Foreign Oil


Think Globally

Act Locally

Tom Burack

271- 2958

Bob Scott


Joanne Morin