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November 16, 2011 | last updated December 2, 2011 6:02 pm

Study: RGGI generated $1.6B

A new study finds that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc., a cap-and-trade energy auction, has added $1.6 billion in economic value to its 10 member states, including Maine.

The report by the Analysis Group's Boston office found that customers saved $1.1 billion on electricity bills and another $174 million in natural gas and heating costs during the three years of the program. Maine received $27.2 million from the auctions, spending the bulk -- $22.8 million -- on energy efficiency and other utility programs, as well as energy audits and benchmarking. Nearly $4.4 million went to greenhouse gas programs and program administration. The report found that RGGI generated an economic impact of $92 million in Maine and created 918 jobs.

The 13 carbon-credit auctions generated $912 million across the 10 Eastern states. RGGI works by auctioning off allowances that power suppliers purchase to offset each ton of carbon dioxide deposited into the environment.

Worcester Business Journal contributed to this report.

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