Act now to Increase SREC incentives in Virginia
Virginia regulators are deciding the value of an important incentive for solar owners — Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). The value of this incentive depends on their decision. Tell them we deserve a high value SREC incentive. This will help more Virginians benefit from solar energy.
The solar on our homes does more than provide electricity. It creates jobs. It strengthens our electric grid. And, it provides clean energy.
Virginia regulators need to recognize these benefits in setting a path to 100% clean energy in the Commonwealth. Rooftop solar is uniquely valuable and deserves an incentive to reflect its many benefits.
What’s at stake: The value of your SREC incentive
Last year, our legislature passed a bill to set a 100% clean energy goal for the Commonwealth. The law says that a certain percentage of this energy must come from distributed solar on homes and businesses. This is known as a ‘carveout’.
The bill lets the State Corporation Commission determine what kind of energy projects qualify for the carveout and how much SRECs are valued. The commission will decide the extent to which solar homeowners are eligible for these credits, and if so, how much these credits are worth.
These credits are based on how much energy the system produces. SRECs create additional revenue for solar owners. Higher value SRECs make solar more affordable. It reduces the time it takes to pay off the cost of the system.
Monopoly utilities are fighting to stop homeowners from earning the credits and participating in Virginia’s clean energy transition. They don’t want their customers benefiting from electricity generation utilities don’t own themselves.
The commission must reject the utilities’ claims. It must ensure that the carveout is reserved for customer-owned and sited solar. The commission must help non-utility energy producers participate in Virginia’s transition to clean energy. The Commission must raise the carveout to ensure maximum economic benefits for Virginians.
What you can do
The commission is accepting public comments through Friday, February 12th. Now is the time to make your voice heard!
Go this link: https://www.scc.virginia.gov/casecomments/comment/PUR-2020-00134
Follow the directions. Fill out the required information, including your name, address, email and other contact information.
In the section marked ‘Comments’, explain why the SCC should support Virginians’ ability to go solar. We’ve drafted a message below, but please personalize your message. If you have solar, tell the commission how it has benefited you and your family. If you don’t have solar, tell the commission you support expanding solar in Virginia.
Sample message to the State Corporation Commission
The solar installed on homes and businesses across the Commonwealth does more than provide electricity. It creates good local jobs. It makes our electric grid more reliable. And, it provides clean energy. Distributed solar owners deserve credits for these benefits.
Distributed solar energy must play a role in Virginia’s 100% clean energy goal as part of the Virginia Clean Economy Act. You can see that this happens by taking the following steps:
– Reserve the distributed generation carveout solely for customer-owned and sited net metered solar systems.
– The 1% distributed generation carveout should be a minimum, not maximum amount. This will ensure that more Virginians are able to participate and receive a value for their role in Virginia’s clean energy transition.
– Increase the carve out by a minimum of 1% of the annual RPS requirement on a yearly basis to ensure maximum economic impact. This is consistent with the economic transition requirements contained in the Virginia Clean Economy Act.
Distributed solar is responsible for creating a majority of all solar jobs in Virginia. More distributed solar means more jobs and local economic growth in our communities. For every 1MW of residential solar, 31 jobs are created. Every kW of distributed solar brings $2,425 in economic activity.
Limiting the types of projects eligible for the distributed generation carveout will make solar more accessible to low-income families and support a more broad portfolio of projects in the Commonwealth.
Thank you for reading my letter. Please ensure customer-owned solar plays a role in our clean energy mix.