In 2020, the Commonwealth of Virginia became the first southern state to join RGGI, a regional cap and trade program designed to reduce climate pollution from fossil fuel power plants. Member states agree to a cap on carbon dioxide emissions and power producers must reduce pollution to meet the cap or buy allowances through auctions administered by RGGI, Inc. Legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly authorizes proceeds from these auctions to be used for community flood preparedness, coastal resilience and energy efficiency programs for affordable housing. DHCD will administer approximately 50% of the auction proceeds through HIEE, with technical assistance from the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME).
On March 3rd, 2021, Virginia-based entities participated for the first time in a RGGI auction. DHCD received approximately $21.7M in RGGI proceeds and will administer these funds to enhance affordable housing programs benefiting low- to moderate-income (LMI) families through HIEE. For fiscal year 2021, DHCD will allocate HIEE funds to address the energy efficiency needs of Virginia households through DHCD’s Affordable and Special Needs Housing (ASNH) program and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). DHCD will continue to collaborate with the HIEE Stakeholder Advisory Group and other agencies to develop the HIEE program and other initiatives that will further benefit LMI families in fiscal year 2022 and beyond. ASNH and WAP information and program guidelines are posted under Resources. DHCD encourages public participation in the HIEE Stakeholder Advisory Group meetings and program development process. HIEE Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting dates, agendas, and presentations are posted under Public Participation.