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Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Delaware is a participant in a multi-state carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program developed as a cooperative effort among the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont to cap and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the power sector. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. This effort is known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).


Valerie Gray
Division of Air Quality

Delaware’s portion of the RGGI program is established in Delaware regulations as the CO2 Budget Trading Program (7 DE Admin. Code 1147), which is designed to initially stabilize and then reduce CO2 emissions in an economically efficient manner. Delaware and other states have developed the emission budget trading programs based on a model rule developed by the RGGI participating states since 2009 to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants.

Money raised through the initiative is returned to participating states to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and other consumer benefit programs. These programs are spurring innovation in the clean energy economy and creating green jobs in the RGGI states.

In 2018, $248 million in RGGI proceeds were invested in programs including energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy, greenhouse gas abatement, and direct bill assistance. Over their lifetime, these 2018 investments are projected to provide participating households and businesses with $2 billion in energy bill savings and avoid the emission of 4.6 million short tons of CO2.

RGGI Model Rule Update

RGGI participating states have conducted a comprehensive evaluation of program successes, program impacts, the potential for additional reductions, imports and emissions leakage, and offsets. In December 2017, they announced revisions to the RGGI program and published an updated Model Rule.

As a result, DNREC published proposed amendments to its regulations. These amendments have gone through a regulatory review and have been published as final in the December 2018 edition of the Delaware Register of Regulations.

The amendments include a reduction in the state’s CO2 budget to reflect Delaware’s portion of a new regional cap beginning in 2021-2030; adding the Emissions Containment Reserve; amending the quantity of allowances in the Cost Containment Reserve, private bank adjustments; deletion of two offset categories and other minor program adjustments.

Delaware CO2 Budget Trading Program – Regional Auction

To support the state CO2 Budget Trading Program, the RGGI participating states have implemented a regional auction platform to sell CO2 allowances. For more information, read the Auction Notice and the RGGI Executive Summary.

Delaware CO2 Allowance Submission Schedule for 2020 Regional CO2 Allowance Auctions

Projected Auction Dates Reserve Price Allocation
Allocation Year Projected Quantity Cost Containment
March 11 $2.32 Sealed bid, uniform price 2020 630,305 457,658
June 3 $2.32 Sealed bid, uniform price 2020 630,305 Remainder of 457,658
September 2 $2.32 Sealed bid, uniform price 2020 630,306 Remainder of 457,658
December 2 $2.32 Sealed bid, uniform price 2020 630,306 Remainder of 457,658
Total 2020 Allowances 2,521,222

Greenhouse Gas Inventory

The Greenhouse Gas inventory reports present data and analyses on the six greenhouse gases listed in the Kyoto Protocol. The six greenhouse gases (GHGs) include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) prepares the GHG inventory to characterize Delaware’s historical and projected GHG emissions, and thereby inform the policy option development process. The reports provide information on the activities that caused emissions and removals, as well as background information on the methods used to estimate the emissions. The GHG inventory has four key objectives:

  • Identify and characterize greenhouse gases emissions sources and sinks,
  • Quantify greenhouse gases emissions and removal from sources and sinks,
  • Document the emission inventory data and analytical results, and
  • Document the greenhouse gases inventory data sources.

Annual Inventory Reports