Don’t let Appalachian Power block solar on schools & government buildings
Local governments and schools in Appalachian Power Company (APCO) territory don’t buy power like most customers. They negotiate their electric power contract with the utility. This happens every three years. The current contract imposes unfair limits on solar energy. It is stopping schools and governments from saving money on their utility bills. Schools and local governments are struggling with the current public health crisis. Every dollar counts!
Negotiations for this new contract are happening now. This is our opportunity to tell our local elected officials to secure a better contract. We need one that gives our communities the right to save money and help the environment by using solar energy. Other places in Virginia are going solar. We should too.
What a good negotiation will include:
- Remove arbitrary limits on net metering. Net metering is a billing system that ensures the host receives a fair, full value credit for this electricity produced by solar. The current contract with Appalachian Power limits the total amount of solar that can be net metered. This low, artificial limit has been reached. It is stopping new solar installations from being built.
- Allow third-party owners to install solar on government and school buildings. Appalachian Power does not let schools or municipal facilities host solar systems on their buildings that these entities don’t own themselves. This ownership structure is allowed in other parts of Virginia. It is called a Power Purchase Agreement. It allows schools and governments to go solar with little to no upfront cost. This way, our communities see solar savings right away.
Installing solar on schools and government buildings saves our communities money from day one! Virginia municipalities that are not subject to APCO’s limits are able to save money with solar. They can then reinvest that into serving the community. For example, Arlington and Middlesex Counties will each save an estimated $4 million over the next 25 years thanks to solar energy. This is why it’s important our local government representatives hear from us.
Use the form at the right to send a message to your local elected leaders. Feel free to personalize your message to tell them you want more solar in your community.