In addition to monitoring the PSC-approved public policy programs, Con Edison also monitors programs that are funded by our customers but are not itemized on our customers’ bills -- in particular, the cost of carbon emissions allowances resulting from New York State's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This is a compact among 9 Northeast states to require most wholesale generators to purchase carbon allowances offered by the participating states at quarterly allowance auctions. New York’s participation in RGGI was initiated by Governor Pataki in a 2005 Memorandum of Understanding that created the regional program and codified in regulation by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In 2012, the company purchased 3.4 M allowances at a cost of over $6.5 M.
The RGGI programs are implemented by NYSERDA and fund additional spending on renewable energy and energy-efficiency. Con Edison is currently implementing a program supported in part by RGGI funds that would allow customers to do "on-bill" financing of energy-efficiency measures.
In 2012, Con Edison of New York and Orange and Rockland participated in the RGGI program review. The companies maintained their general support for RGGI as an initial step in the country's search for an effective way to reduce carbon emissions. The companies did not take a position on lowering the RGGI cap as proposed by the RGGI states because doing so would increase our customers’ bills without a commensurate increase in funding for end-user energy-efficiency programs to offset the bill increase. However, the companies did successfully advocate for creation of a cost containment mechanism to limit the potential for dramatic increases in allowance prices after the RGGI states lower the regional cap to 91 million tons per year beginning January 1, 2014.