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Cap-and-Trade Cuts Energy Bills for Small Businesses

PlugSmall businesses and residential customers in California are due to see cuts to their April electricity bills as a result of the state’s cap-and-trade program.

Small commercial, industrial and agricultural customers will receive the Climate Credit every month, proportional to the amount of electricity used. Nonprofits and schools are also eligible, the California Public Utilities Commission and California Air Resources Board said.

Millions of California households will see a credit averaging $35 each April and October, regardless of energy consumption or bill amount, the agencies said.

The credit comes from the allowances that power plants and industrial facilities must buy under the state cap-and-trade system. CARB and CPUC are encouraging credit recipients to invest part or all of the money into energy-efficiency improvements.

But companies may want to save that money to spend on gasoline. Prices are expected to rise 12 cents per gallon next year, when distributors of transportation fuels become subject to cap-and-trade, Reuters reports.

Chevron’s Michael Wirth said this month that the carbon trading program could make it too expensive for the company to keep operating refineries in California.

Takeaway: Small companies in California will see their monthly electricity bills cut due to the state’s cap-and-trade revenues – but they may also face pain at the pump.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

Picture credit: Khrawlings via flickr

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