Time Zone:
(UTC+01:00) Oslo
Program Start Date January 1, 2009
Baseline Year 2005
Reduction Targets 10% reductions by 2018
Covered Sectors Fossil fuel power generation
Total Size of Market • 188 m short tons (170 metric tons)
• Includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. New Jersey dropped out.
Threshold for Emissions Regulation 25 MW capacity
Methods for Compliance • Internal abatement
• Purchase offset credits
• Purchase Allowances
Project Crediting Period 10 years, additional 10 year renewal possible
Minimum Project Start Date • For projects other than forestry need to submit projects within 6 months of project start date. For forestry, within 1 year of start date.
Earliest Reduction Eligibility Date Reductions happening after January 1, 2009 are eligible for energy efficiency, U.S. Forests, SF6 protocols
Offset Portfolio Limits • 3.3% of total alllowances
• price triggers eliminated as part of RGGI Review
Eligible Project Origin & Locations • 9 RGGI states, otherwise states that have MOU with RGGI
Eligible Offset Types  • Landfill methane capture and destruction
• Reduction in SF6 emissions in power sector
• U.S. Forests 
• Natural gas, oil, propane end-use combustion due to energy efficiency in the building sector
• Reductions from agricultural manure management operations
Eligible Protocols and Standards • Defined by state specific rules and methodologies
• CARB's U.S. Forests protocol
Project Permanence For U.S. Forests, needs to be placed under conservation easement
Fungibility of Sequestration Credits Sequestration credits fungible with other offset credits
Early Offset Purchase Compensation • Need to have started by Dec 20, 2005
International Offset Credit Criteria CDM/JI, EU ETS under certain conditions
International REDD Offset Criteria none
Program Administrator RGGI Inc. (501(c)3) www.rggiinc.org State Offset Contacts http://www.rggi.org/offset_contacts
Accrediting/Verification Party RGGI State-accredited independent verifier
Registry Administrator RGGI COATS https://rggi-coats.org/eats/rggi/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.project_offset&clearfuseattribs=true

Between the lines

The RGGI system from its beginning in January 2009 has been oversupplied with allowances. Lower emissions have been driven by a combination of milder weather and fuel switching from petroleum to relatively cheaper natural gas. In fact, Point Carbon analysis shows an oversupply until 2014, after which the banked allowances in the first five years would make up for any shortages until the end of the program. The supply and demand imbalance continues to pull prices down. From the offsets perspective, few developers have pursued certification through RGGI. 

As of November 1, 2009 there were only two offset projects which were awaiting initial consistency determination – the first stage of application process. These projects never went forward.

Project developers have shied away for several reasons. Most importantly, low allowance prices have provided little incentive to sell offsets into the RGGI market, as monetization costs far outstrip the selling prices. The price triggers that would allow offsets into the system are also a deterrent. It is a Catch-22 where in order for the offset supply to be available, the prices need to be high, and on the other hand, the developers won't start projects until the price is high enough for them to make sufficient returns on the projects.

The RGGI program has been undergoing a review with the goal of lowering the cap. As part of the review, the price triggers that increased the allowable percentage of offsets have been removed. A new U.S. Forests offset protocol was developed to include improved forest management, avoided conversion, and reforestation. The protocol is consistent with the forests protocol approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which means offsets developed under the CARB protocol could also be used in RGGI if the RGGI allowance price is high enough to make offset use economical.