They can be found at: Legislative Information System
HB 69 Renewable energy portfolio standard; required participation of electric utility in program, etc.
HB 70 Energy conservation; establishes statewide goal of reducing consumption of electric energy.
HB 129 Electric utilities; retail competition; purchases from net metering sellers.
HB 232 Renewable energy; expands definition to include landfill gas, etc. and its Senate companion SB 492
HB 312 Electric and natural gas utilities; energy efficiency programs; and its Senate companion, SB 493 - this is a very technically worded bill, and I frankly didn't understand it; perhaps someone can enlighten me.
HB 433 Real Estate Appraiser Board; continuing education.
HB 448 Net energy metering program; standby charges.
SB 582 Net energy metering; SCC shall approve utility's proposed standby charge methodology.
HB 590 Renewable energy facilities; eligibility for incentives
HB 657 Renewable energy portfolio standard program; adjusts mix of energy sources that qualify.
HB 883 Income tax, state; credit for solar energy equipment systems
HB 894 Electric and natural gas utilities; energy efficiency programs.
HB 911 Renewable energy; requires SCC to establish a program of community net metering.
HB 1017 Renewable energy portfolio standard program; eliminates Performance Incentive provision.
HB 1166 Renewable portfolio standard program; reporting to State Corporation Commission and its Senate companion, SB 382.
HB 1102 Renewable energy portfolio standard program; credits for investments, and its Senate companion, SB 413.
Most of these seem to be promoting solar or renewables at some level. Sierra Club is lobbying for HB's 129, 312, 433, 448, 657, and SB 382. I wrote short statements of why I thought they should be promoted or passed and sent them to my legislators.
I hope you will contact your legislators (you can use Who's My Legislator if you don't know who they are - districts have changed this year) and express your own opinions about these bills.
Two of the bills (or pairs of bills) seem to me to favor Dominion , and I opposed them or reasons I give below.
HB 232 and its twin, SB 492. These would allow thermal energy to count for RPS as well as electrical.
HB 1102 and its twin, SB 413, which would allow utilities to count money spent for renewables R&D toward RPS, up to 20%.
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Here's my email form I used - you're welcome to ignore it or use it as you wish:
The field of renewable energy (e.g., wind, solar PV, solar hot water) and energy efficiency (e.g., ground source heat pumps, improved insulation, lighting, and motors) is a growing field in Virginia. Each year the Hampton Roads Solar Tour (which I organize) sees increased interest and purchases of new energy equipment in homes and businesses because of the opportunity it gives each owner to reduce costs over the long run. Because of the growth in interest, it is therefore an area that has potential for job growth in our state. To help create those jobs, I recommend that the General Assembly pass certain legislation that would encourage the adoption of energy efficient and renewable generation equipment by homeowners and businesses.
Based on the current list of bills proposed at this year’s legislative session, I urge you to promote and vote for (insert number of bill)
Bill List and rationale:
HB 69 - Renewable energy portfolio standard; required participation of electric utility in program, etc.
Most states with job growth in renewable energy and efficiency have mandatory RPS programs. This provides a strong driver for the state’s utilities and citizens to invest in these technologies, therefore driving job growth to manufacture and install equipment in businesses and homes. Virginia should have a mandatory RPS system.
HB 70 - Energy conservation; establishes statewide goal of reducing consumption of electric energy.
Setting a goal for energy efficiency sets a strong signal and climate for the rest of the state that renewable energy and efficiency businesses will likely have work to do in the coming years.
HB129 - Electric utilities; retail competition; purchases from net metering sellers.
This bill would open up opportunity for organizations interested in establishing large renewable energy generation capability to do so free of restraint from public utilities that have no interest in renewable. This is likely to stimulate construction of several new facilities in the state, bringing construction jobs here.
HB433 - Real Estate Appraiser Board; continuing education.
This bill will provide building owners with the incentive for investing in efficiency and renewable energy. Currently appraisers do not factor in the advantage to the buyer of reduced energy costs of an efficient or energy-generating structure. By training appraisers how to evaluate these factors, a truer value of the building can be arrived at. This will incentivize owners to make energy improvements and increase tax base for localities at no cost to the State.
HB 448 - Net energy metering program; standby charges.
This bill would modify the recent SCC ruling granting Dominion large “standby” fees on large net-metered systems. Since the presence of only a few large (less than 20 kW) systems will not influence Dominions huge per distribution system, it seems reasonable to allow a modest number of systems to operate without standby fees until there are enough large systems to actually influence Dominion’s distribution capability. Limiting standby fees helps encourage the development of larger renewable energy electrical generating facilities, bringing construction jobs to Virginia.
SB 582 - Net energy metering; SCC shall approve utility's proposed standby charge methodology
This bill will add more transparency to the process of establishing standby charges by requiring the SCC to demonstrate that the method the utility uses to propose such charges meets several reasonable criteria. Overall, having rationally established standby fees helps encourage the development of larger renewable energy electrical generating facilities, bringing construction jobs to Virginia.
HB 657 - Renewable energy portfolio standard program; adjusts mix of energy sources that qualify.
This is similar to but superior to HB 590. This measure would require that RPS credits need to be based on sources in Virginia. Most other states now have a similar requirement, and it makes sense to encourage development of in-state RPS-worthy sites because of the local jobs they stimulate.
It also requires that RPS credits be based on recent facilities, not old ones. This would emphasize development of new capability and thus new jobs.
HB 883 - Income tax, state; credit for solar energy equipment systems
Many other states find that having a personal and corporate tax credit, whatever the size, for renewable energy equipment is useful in stimulating sales of such equipment, which leads to job growth and increased property value (see HB433).
I urge you to oppose:
HB 232, SB 492 Renewable energy; expands definition to include landfill gas, etc.
I have no problem with adding landfill gas to the list of allowable renewables, but I object to the addition of thermal energy equivalents to the list. The allowable RPS items should be in facilities that directly produce electricity, not in indirect sources. For example, using this criterion the solar energy that happens to fall on an office building or power plant could be credited since it provides a component of thermal energy to heat the building. This is far too lenient and negates the intent of RPS which is to promote development of renewable energy sources.
HB 1102, SB 413 - Renewable energy portfolio standard program; credits for investments
I think that utilities, as any corporations, ought to be doing R&D to help determine their path to the future, and not to get RPS credits for it. The intent of having an RPS is to stimulate development of renewable energy sources within the State of Virginia. Doing R&D on renewable energy does not automatically do that. If in the process of doing R&D the utility creates a renewable energy facility tied to the grid, then that would clearly be OK. Otherwise, as the bill stands it reduces the intended impact of the RPS program.