The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund (GHGERF) was created by the New Hampshire legislature in 2008 and has been administered by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The purpose of the Fund was to support energy efficiency, energy conservation, and demand response programs to reduce New Hampshire’s greenhouse gas emissions. Funding was derived from the State’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cooperative effort by nine northeastern states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the electric power sector via a cap and trade program. As of June 2012, RGGI auctions have resulted in revenues to New Hampshire of $38.7 million, of which $21.8 million had been paid out to grants through June 2012. These funds have been distributed primarily through a competitive grant process administered by the PUC. The total amount of GHGERF grant awards is equal to 0.5% of the $6 billion that New Hampshire spends annually on energy across all sectors. These grants funded a wide variety of projects and programs which directly benefitted New Hampshire homes, schools, businesses, towns, and non-profit organizations. Details for each grant award are available at the PUC’s website.
Completed projects supported by GHGERF funds (as of June 2012) have resulted in annual reductions of fossil fuel energy use in NH by 227,400 million BTUs (MMBTUs). Additionally, the GHGERF creates annual energy savings for NH residents and businesses of over $6.7 million and reduces annual carbon dioxide emissions by 22,900 metric tons. Cumulative energy savings due to projects completed as of June 2012 are estimated to be 4.0 million MMBTUs through 2030. NH residents and businesses are expected to save $107.8 million through 2030 based on current energy prices. Carbon dioxide emissions reductions are estimated to be 366,500 metric tons through 2030.
In addition to energy reductions, GHGERF has supported energy efficiency workforce development for 700 workers with over 11,300 training hours (as of June 2012). GHGERF has also financially supported almost 2,300 building benchmarking and energy audit evaluations.
During the past three years, GHGERF has delivered significant energy savings and served a wide-base of residential, commercial, and industrial energy customers throughout New Hampshire. The experience and capacity built during the three year period allowed GHGERF to deliver the highest amount of energy saved per dollar spent during this past reporting period. The model of having a central specialized expert organization work with multiple energy customers, as seen in all of the grants awarded in 2010, has proven to be a successful one and should be considered as NH’s RGGI program shifts to the NH electric utility energy efficiency programs.
Magnusson, Matthew and Wake, Cameron P., "The New Hampshire Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund: Year 3 (July 2011-June 2012) Evaluation" (2012). The Sustainability Institute Publications. 9.