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, Vermont and Virginia to cap and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the power sector. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. This effort is known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).


Christian Wisniewski
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.

The Third Adjustment for Banked Allowances was calculated on March 15, 2021. The adjustment has been applied to the State of Delaware CO2 Trading Program base budget for allocation years 2021 through 2025 to address allowances held in general and compliance accounts that are in addition to the aggregate quantity of all emissions by CO2 budget sources at the end of the fourth control period in 2020. More information on the Third Adjustment for Banked Allowances is posted on the RGGI website.

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. The allocation format will be conducted as a sealed bid, uniform price auction. For more information, please read the Auction Notice and the RGGI Executive Summary.

Delaware CO2 Allowance Submission Schedule for 2021 Regional CO2 Allowance Auctions

Auction Dates
Cost Containment
Emissions Containment
March 3 $2.38 2021 714,470 338,331 338,331
June 2 $2.38 2021 709,854 Remainder of 338,331 Remainder of 338,331
September 8 $2.38 2021 709,854 Remainder of 338,331 Remainder of 338,331
December 1 $2.38 2021 709,853 Remainder of 338,331 Remainder of 338,331
Total 2021 Allowances 2,844,031
*This column represents the maximum number of allowances that may be withheld from auctions in 2021, if certain conditions are met; please refer to 7 DE Admin. Code 1147

Greenhouse Gas Inventory

The Greenhouse Gas Inventory reports present data and analyses on the following greenhouse gases (GHGs): carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).

The DNREC Division of Air Quality prepares the 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 Delaware Greenhouse Inventory Reports