Here’s more proof that going green saves green: Millions of Californian households will be getting their slice of the state’s cap-and-trade pie this month.
Customers of Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric will receive this so-called “climate credit,” resulting in $30-$40 back in their pockets. As the California Environmental Protection Agency announced in a news release, “Households and small businesses do not need to do anything to get the credit. Households will see the Climate Credit on their April and October bills each year, regardless of energy consumption or bill amount.”
Back in 2006, state lawmakers passed the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB32, with the aim to reduce the Golden State’s greenhouse gas pollution levels 25 percent by the year 2020. SFGate notes how California’s Big Polluters were forced to pay up for permits that allowed them to emit carbon into the atmosphere (there is a cap on the emissions allowed). The beauty of this regulation is that these permits don’t last forever, which means these companies must figure out how to improve their energy efficiency.
MORE: This Clean Energy Program Is Investing in Much More Than Just the Environment
As Grist reports, this cap-and-trade program has raised nearly $1.7 billion. Roughly 60 percent of that money is going to the recipients of the climate credit, with the remaining amount — about $663 million — going towards the state’s clean energy goals.
So what should recipients do with this found money? California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey suggested that residents should reinvest the climate credit into energy saving applications, such as LED light bulbs and smart thermostats.
After all, it’s not just the biggest polluters that need to make changes. We need everyone’s help to fight climate change.