Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

an initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States of the U.S.

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Success Stories

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Each state directs its own strategy for investing RGGI proceeds in programs that benefit consumers and build a clean energy economy. Below are just a few examples of individuals, companies and cities that have benefited from energy efficiency, renewable energy and job training programs funded with RGGI proceeds.

These success stories also appear in the report Investment of RGGI Proceeds Through 2013. See the full report for more information on how RGGI proceeds have been invested.

Older success stories can be viewed in the Archive, and media coverage of RGGI investments and successes is posted on the News and Updates page.


Energy Saving Measures at the Calabro Cheese Corporation
The Calabro Cheese Corporation (Calabro Cheese), a family-owned manufacturer in East Haven, Connecticut, has been making quality Italian cheeses for 60 years, using only fresh, locally obtained ingredients and traditional old-world recipes.  Calabro Cheese turned to The United Illuminating Company to help identify energy upgrades for cost-saving benefits to its 74,000-square foot facility.

 Through the CEEF’s Energize Connecticut programs, Calabro Cheese completed several energy-saving measures in 2013, including an exterior and interior lighting retrofit; refrigeration motor replacement and evaporator fan controls; steam trap repair and replacement; insulated steam trap jackets; and a new compressed air distribution system.  Annual energy savings of 148,949 kWh of electricity and 62,556 ccf of natural gas are expected as a result. These measures were supported by a $56,457 incentive, partially funded by RGGI proceeds. 

 With the incentive, the measures are expected to pay for themselves over the next ten years by providing an estimated savings of $95,769 annually.


The Delaware Green for Green Program
The Green for Green program is a residential “green” construction program first offered in the summer of 2010 that provides homebuyer rebates after the purchase of a certified green home.  The Green for Green program leverages existing national green certification programs to promote the construction of new green homes through customer rebates. The program offers incentives ranging from $1,000 to $4,500 to customers who purchase newly constructed homes certified by the by the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED), or that have a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) of 59 or less.  The program is implemented by the Home Builders Association of Delaware (HBADE) with funding from the Delaware SEU.

The Green for Green program has supported over 160 rebates which have totaled over $516,000. The energy and water efficiency and weatherization measures that are installed in these homes will save residents $3 million on their bills over the lifetime of the home. Currently, there are 17 home builders certified in the program and over 50 Delaware communities have participated. The Central Delaware and New Castle Habitats for Humanity programs are enrolled in this program, saving low-income Delawareans energy and money.

“Our goal is to transform the homebuilding culture in Delaware by creating demand for energy efficient homes, this has been a popular program for home buyers,” said Tony DePrima, DESEU Executive Director.


Medical Arts Center at Franklin Community Health Network
The new Medical Arts Center at Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington is designed to look like an old-fashioned Maine woods lodge. But in this new building—and the renovated main hospital—state-of-the-art technology is hard at work to save energy while delivering critical medical care. Efficiency Maine provided $59,532 in incentives to help the hospital make several improvements:

  • High-efficiency fluorescents now provide all the lighting, with occupancy and daylight sensors to turn them off when they’re not needed.
  • HVAC systems use highly efficient motors, while delivering precise temperature and humidity levels to operating rooms.
  • Variable-speed drives now cut motor power consumption in half.

These energy-efficiency measures reduce Franklin Community Health Network’s electric bills by 28%. With incentives from Efficiency Maine, they’ll pay back in less than 6 months; estimated annual savings will be over $45,000 in electricity and $3,000 in labor.


Maryland businesses thrive with upgrades from RGGI-funded program
Thanks to assistance from the Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program, the Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) completed approximately $1,031,500 in energy and cost-saving improvements at its BWI Hilton facility located in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. The improvements were designed to save money, increase operational efficiencies, and reduce the environmental impact of the hotel.

BPG partnered with Trane Energy Services to complete a formal audit of the facility to identify energy conservation measures (ECM). The measures included installation of lighting retrofits, engineered common area controls, and guest room occupancy controls. The installed solutions are projected to save at least $158,400 in energy costs annually.

The project was financed through a combination of a rebate program and a loan program. A $500,000 rebate was obtained through BG&E’s Smart Energy Savers Program in connection with the EmPOWER Maryland initiative. The remaining $531,500 was financed through a low-interest loan through Maryland Energy Administration’s Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program, which was partially capitalized using RGGI revenue.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the savings and our guests and associates are benefitting from the improvement in building temperature comfort and lighting” says Christie Blomquist, Director of Facilities, PM Hospitality Strategies. As a result of the energy-saving improvements, the BWI Hilton will save 1,181,406 kWh of electricity and 30,914 Therms of heating fuel per year. This energy savings equates to a reduction of 1,089 short tons of CO2 or CO2 equivalent emissions annually.


Improvements in Gloucester, Massachusetts
RGGI auction proceeds have enabled the historic seaport of Gloucester, Massachusetts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and significantly reduce energy consumption and costs.  Gloucester was designated a “Green Community” by way of achieving five statutory clean energy benchmarks, and has accessed RGGI funds through grants available to all 136 designated municipalities.  In particular, the four projects highlighted below leveraged approximately $198,200 in Green Communities funds and gained an additional $156,664 in utility incentives. RGGI funds contributed primarily to controls and lighting upgrades.

At Gloucester High School, the city completed two efficiency projects using both Green Communities grant funding and utility financing. The school upgraded its boiler controls, improving efficiency by allowing pumps and the boiler to be enabled and disabled on command. Automated building controls were replaced, allowing for better building scheduling and demand control ventilation. Combined, these two projects are projected to reduce natural gas use by 17,180 therms annually.

At O’Maley Middle School, RGGI funds allowed the school to upgrade to automated controls for air handling units. This is estimated to reduce electric and fuel oil consumption 5 percent annually at one of the city’s top four energy consumers.

A fourth project at the Sawyer Free Library involved retrofitting or replacing the building’s interior and select exterior lighting. This measure alone is projected to reduce electric consumption for another of Gloucester’s top energy consumers by 20 percent.

Realizing these energy savings through energy efficiency projects is “exciting because it’s part of being a Green Community,” said Tom Daniels, the city’s community development director. “It saves money, and it’s good for the environment,” he said.


Manufacturing LED Head Lights Becomes More Energy Efficient
Osram Sylvania located in Hillsboro, New Hampshire manufactures automotive lighting, including LED lighting products for the automotive industry. The manufacturing process utilizes a significant amount of compressed air.  Replacing two compressors rated at 850 HP with one 800 HP 3-stage centrifugal air compressor with a variable frequency drive resulted in savings of 269,000 kilowatt-hours annually.  In addition, this improvement resulted in better overall system control as the existing compressors had incompatible controllers, making it difficult to optimize the sequencing during startup and normal operation.

The Osram Sylvania Hillsborough facility, which is the Automotive Lighting’s lamp headquarters, has many first-in-the-industry products to its credit, including red neon for brake light applications; amber neon for turn signals; fluorescent for auto interior; high-intensity discharge headlights; plastic headlights; halogen innovations; miniature lights with a wedge base for improved reliability; and many others. The facility also houses a laboratory devoted to new innovations in automotive lighting.  Also, the Hillsborough facility is ISO 14001 certified, showing a deep commitment to management of environmental issues.


NY Family Reduces GHG Emissions with EmPower New York Program
New York State used RGGI proceeds to help Susan Konstanty reduce GHG emissions at her fam¬ily home and make the home more comfortable. The Cape Cod-style home in Gasport, NY was drafty and wasted energy. After it was determined the Konstantys were income-eligible for the EmPower New York program, a contractor who was sent to inspect the home identified a need for and installed better insulation in the basement and roof and provided tips to reduce electricity use.  

Susan Konstanty said that now she can set the thermostat at 65 degrees during the day without impacting the family’s comfort level, rather than the previous 68-degree setting. The home’s fuel consumption is lower as a result, avoiding 10,483 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions the family would have emitted without the energy efficiency measures. Susan’s story is one example of how $39 million invested through Residential Efficiency Services Programs have helped improve the energy efficiency of more than 18,000 homes in NYS through 2013.


Upgrades at Wakefield YMCA
At the South County YMCA in Wakefield, all interior and exterior lights at the site were converted to LED technology.  In all, 75 interior linear fluorescent units were changed to LED fixtures; 43 interior “high bay” metal halide lights were converted, and 23 parking lot and exterior fixtures were replaced. Lighting occupancy controls were installed in selected areas, and a web-based Energy Management System took the place of existing standalone thermostat.  The EMS allows the customer to monitor all of their HVAC equipment, enable CO2 based demand control ventilation, set temperature and schedules, and facilitate holiday turndowns.

The total project cost was $95,207 at no out-of-pocket cost to the facility.  70% of the cost was covered by the National Grid Direct Install program, while OER funds provided the difference. With estimated savings of 111,115 kWh and 954 therms, this upgrade will save the YMCA over $18,000 annually.


Vermont Rural Apartment House
The local housing agency was spending $16,500 per year for heat and hot water in this 5-unit, 130-year-old farmhouse with 40-year-old additions adding up to 6,000 SF. The house used nearly 3,500 gallons of oil for heat and 20,300 kWh electricity for hot water annually for the building. With technical assistance and cash incentives from Vermont Fuel Efficiency Partnership (VFEP), and participation of the Weatherization Assistance Program, virtually every wall, ceiling, and foundation surface was upgraded. The 73% oil boiler was swapped out for a 93% condensing propane unit. Windows and doors were replaced. All heating and hot water lines were insulated. Automatically controlled bathroom exhaust fans were added for ventilation. Estimated post-retrofit energy use is about 1,825 gallons of propane and 18,300 kWh electricity, an energy savings of 58%, and cost savings of $8,000 annually. VFEP assists owners of all types of affordable apartment housing statewide and is funded primarily though Efficiency Vermont, the state’s energy efficiency utility, using RGGI and Forward Capacity Market revenues.