Fight for solar bills in Richmond
Since the start of the Virginia General Assembly session, solar supporters like you have sent more than 1,500 emails to your representatives declaring our solar rights! Unfortunately, several groundbreaking solar bills were squashed before being fully considered thanks to outsize influence of corporate monopolies in Richmond.
But our solar constituency won’t be stopped. You can still fight for two bills that expand solar in Virginia and demand an end to corporate welfare for monopoly utilities.
These bills will take small but meaningful steps towards our energy freedom by raising the cap on net-metered system sizes for homes and businesses going solar to 125% of the previous year’s consumption (SB 191) and by expanding access to third-party purchase agreements for non-profit solar installation in Appalachian Power Service territory (HB 1252). These bills will expand solar choices for Virginians, create good solar jobs, and empower communities to generate more local energy.
While most of the solar bills introduced this year got killed in committee by big energy lobbyists, the “rate freeze” bill, one of the session’s most controversial, sailed through the Senate and passed the House. Heeding intense public pressure stemming from the complaints of consumer advocates including the Virginia Poverty Law Center, the SCC, and the Attorney General’s office, both houses ultimately amended the bill to remove the odious “double-dipping” that would have allowed corporate shareholders to extract excess profits from ratepayers to the tune of tens of millions of dollars annually.
However, the bill will still undermine monopoly utility oversight by the State Corporation Commission (SCC). And, with the Governor publicly supporting the earlier version of the bill, it remains to be seen what happens before the bill becomes law. Despite the wave election this past November, it’s still apparent that champions for renewable energy and energy freedom are still the underdogs in Richmond.
Help stop corporate welfare for monopoly utilities and fight for a clean and democratic energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities—with rooftop solar as the cornerstone!