- Lawmakers in New Hampshire's House have voted to rebate back to customers all proceeds from the state's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), ending investments in energy efficiency.
- The bill passed by a roll call vote of 201-154, and now heads to the Senate.
- The Concord Monitor reports that a separate measure to end the state's participation in the regional greenhouse outright failed.
The New Hampshire House has voted to send all proceeds from the RGGI back to ratepayers rather than continue to invest some of the revenue in energy efficiency. The Concord Monitor reported the regulatory program could bring in almost $19 million for the state this year, of which about $2.6 million would have gone to efficiency initiatives.
“Most people don’t know that RGGI imposes extra costs on power generators who in turn pass that cost along to ratepayers. It’s a hidden tax," said Rep. Michael Vose (R). The bill, HB 208, "returns the revenue from that hidden tax back to the people from whom it was taken and provides some measure of relief for families and businesses," he said.
RGGI is a regional push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, involving the cooperative efforts of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont to reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector.
“Many of us pledged during the last campaign to find ways to reduce the overall cost of energy in New Hampshire and we believe HB 208 would keep that promise by providing a net benefit to ratepayers," said House Republican Leader Jack Flanagan. "High electricity rates are an impediment to economic growth. Reducing costly mandates, or in this case modifying those mandates to be more cost neutral, is one way we can make New Hampshire more affordable and competitive.”