- The New Hampshire House Science Technology and Energy Committee narrowly voted last week to approve a measure to rebate all funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative back to customers, rather than investing some portion in energy efficiency programs.
- A similar measure in 2015 was approved by the House but then stalled in the Senate.
- House Bill 592 will now head to the full House of Representatives when it meets early next year, according to New Hampshire Business Review.
This is not the first time Republican lawmakers have attempted to remove New Hampshire from the regional greenhouse gas compact, and failing that, have proposed scaling back efficiency investments.
“It’s easy to spend other people’s money,” Rep. Michael Vose, R-Epping, said of using RGGI funds for efficiency spending. “Right now we get four out of five dollars back ... All this would do would make it five out five, minus administrative costs.”
Democrats and some Republicans voiced support for RGGI and efficiency spending, but the bill advanced on an 11-10 vote. As originally proposed, HB 592 would have pulled the state out of the RGGI trading compact. The revised bill would cut efficiency spending, which advocates say will mostly hurt low-income families.
In 2014, New Hampshire invested approximately $4.5 million in RGGI allowance proceeds to its Energy Efficiency Fund. The state set up its RGGI-funded Core Energy Efficiency programs in 2012, and cumulative RGGI-funded investments in the programs are expected to save consumers more than $90 million.