For Immediate Release: March 16, 2022
Contact: Executive Director Chelsea Harnish, firstname.lastname@example.org, 804-457-8619
Statement on Youngkin Administration’s Report on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
RICHMOND- Governor Youngkin has once again set the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in his crosshairs, aiming for a program that does an unparalleled amount of good for Virginia businesses and our most vulnerable citizens. The recently released report from the Department of Environmental Quality perpetuates the harmful myths surrounding the carbon capture program.
“The report willfully ignores the massive benefits that come from our participation in RGGI,” Chelsea Harnish, Executive Director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council said. “Virginia is the only RGGI state that allocates 50% of our funding to low-income energy efficiency projects.”
RGGI funds two specific programs to improve affordable housing stock – the Weatherization Deferral Repair (WDR) program and the Affordable and Special Needs Housing (ASNH) program. The WDR program allows weatherization providers to address significant home repairs, such as roofs, mold mitigation, and damaged combustion appliances, to ready the home for energy efficiency services via the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). These massive repairs made these homes ineligible for the federal weatherization program leaving each provider with lists of “deferred properties.”
In addition to the WDR program, the ASNH funding ensures that new affordable housing developments are built more energy-efficient than they would have otherwise been. Increasing energy efficiency improves the health, safety, and livelihood of the residents, as well as lowering energy bills by up to 20%.
RGGI energy efficiency funding has provided unprecedented economic benefits as well. Several weatherization providers have been and will continue to hire new staff to meet the new demands.
The funds received from the RGGI auctions allow weatherization assistance providers and affordable housing developers to meet the needs of underserved communities. It is imperative that this vital funding remains available to help those in the greatest need.
The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council is the voice for the energy efficiency industry in the Commonwealth. Our diverse group of over 100 members includes Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, local governments, state agencies, and more. The VAEEC’s goal is to ensure that energy efficiency is recognized as an integral part of Virginia’s economy and clean energy future.
Learn more about the energy efficiency benefits of RGGI, including case studies on our website https://vaeec.org/rggi/.
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