Great stuff from Del. Rip Sullivan, off to an excellent start as his first term as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates begins!
Delegate Sullivan introduced legislation today that would require Virginia electric and gas utilities to meet annual energy savings benchmarks beginning in 2016. The legislation directs the State Corporation Commission to develop incentives for utilities that exceed their annual energy savings goals and penalties for utilities that fail to comply.
“Energy efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way for Virginia to reduce the carbon pollution that causes global warming and comply with the EPA’s clean power plant standard” said Sullivan. “Beginning in 2016, my legislation would require utilities to offer Virginia homeowners and businesses incentives to invest in efficient air conditioners, heaters, lighting, and buildings, so that they can save money on their energy bills. Many of Virginia’s neighbors are already moving towards an energy portfolio that emphasizes energy efficiency. My legislation would make Virginia a leader, not a follower, on clean energy. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, my legislation would create at least 13,000 new Virginia jobs and save consumers $6.2 billion between 2016 and 2030.”
Delegate Sullivan also introduced three additional energy-related bills today.
1. Legislation that would create a renewable energy tax credit which would give renewable energy companies and equipment installers an incentive to develop and grow in Virginia. The bill is modeled after North Carolina’s successful renewable energy tax credit.
2. Legislation that gives communities an incentive to develop community solar gardens.
3. Legislation that requires the Secretary of Natural Resources to report annually to the Governor and the General Assembly on certain environmental issues, including energy, air pollution, and adaptation and resilience to extreme weather events and sea-level rise and recommend legislation.
Late last week Delegate Sullivan also introduced legislation on behalf of the McAuliffe Administration that allows more solar energy producers to send excess energy back into the grid and receive a credit toward their energy bill in return.