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Next Virginia Gov. Can Drive Economy, Make Energy More Secure, Clean, Affordable

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Lots of good ideas in here from Advanced Energy Economy, including an emphasis on energy efficiency, energy storage, Power Purchase Agreements, demand response, also “Pass legislation to decouple electric utility revenues from volumetric sales, to remove the disincentive to invest in energy efficiency” and – overall – “harness[ing] the economic power of the advanced energy industry to transform the Virginia economy.” The key is getting Dominion Power the hell out of the way, and that’s not going to be easy, given how badly Dominion has corrupted and dominated our political system.

Advanced Energy Roadmap Shows How Next Governor Can Drive Economic Development While Making Virginia’s
Energy More Secure, Clean, Affordable

Richmond, Virginia, June 23, 2017 – Today, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) announced it has delivered a policy memo to the Virginia gubernatorial campaigns of Republican nominee Ed Gillespie and Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam outlining how advanced energy can transform the Virginia economy. The memo,Advanced Energy Roadmap for Virginia: How the Next Governor Can Make Virginia’s Energy System More Secure, Clean, and Affordable—and Drive Economic Development,” outlines key executive actions and legislative priorities that will allow the next Governor to pursue an economic development agenda that takes full advantage of the potential of advanced energy. The identical memo was delivered yesterday to each campaign.

“Advanced energy is already a major economic driver in Virginia, employing over 80,000 Virginians and driving billions of dollars in investment throughout the Commonwealth,” said J.R. Tolbert, Vice President of State Policy for AEE. “The next Governor should look to the advanced energy industry as a key partner in driving economic development from the coalfields of Southwest to the Shenandoah Valley and the Tidewater region. Advanced energy can deliver economic gains, greater grid reliability, and savings in energy costs. We look forward to continuing work with the Gillespie and Northam campaigns throughout the general election.”

In its memo, AEE presented four key themes for the campaigns to consider:

  • Allowing Competitive Procurement to Attract Investment and Benefit Consumers.
    A dynamic and competitive procurement process for energy resources can attract private business investment in Virginia and can benefit consumers by bringing the most innovative, affordable, and reliable energy options to the state. While current Virginia law allows this in statute, more could be done to attract investment and benefit consumers. Ultimately, consumers win when third-party alternatives can compete because consumers choose the services they want and competition ultimately reduces the overall cost of the system.
  • Expanding Access to Advanced Energy to Strengthen Virginia’s Corporate Presence and Save Taxpayer Dollars for Local Governments
    Businesses consider energy costs and sustainability goals as they determine where to locate or expand operations. In fact, 71 of Fortune 500 companies have energy related sustainability or renewable energy goals. Providing options for companies and local governments to purchase or install renewable energy or other advanced energy options can help to maintain and grow a strong corporate presence in Virginia and produce savings for local governments. Local governments in Virginia are also increasingly seeking more advanced energy options. However, companies and local governments face regulatory hurdles to purchasing advanced energy. Policies should work to increase advanced energy purchasing options for Virginia companies and local governments.
  • Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Demand Response to Create Jobs and Save Consumers Money
    Energy efficiency is the lowest cost and most readily available resource to meet energy demand. Both energy efficiency and demand response can save money for residents and businesses, and create jobs in Virginia. However, Virginia is trailing behind other states in taking full advantage of these resources. Virginia should modernize its regulatory system to encourage the adoption of energy efficiency and demand response and allow consumers and businesses to lower their electric bills.
  • Modernizing the Electricity System to Focus on Consumer Needs
    Our energy system has undergone rapid changes over the last decade. Evolving consumer preferences, dynamic new technologies, and the need to replace aging infrastructure are causing the energy system to modernize, yet the regulatory system inadvertently stifles innovation. Virginia stands to gain by upgrading our energy system, meeting consumer needs, and allowing innovative technologies to thrive. To unlock consumer value, regulatory reforms are needed to allow residents and businesses a greater ability to take control of their energy future. Virginia consumers are driving the advanced energy industry in the Commonwealth, and this trend should be capitalized to modernize our energy system.

AEE also submitted specific executive actions and immediate, medium-term, and short-term legislative priorities to the campaigns.

About Advanced Energy Economy
Advanced Energy Economy is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. AEE and its state and regional partner organizations are active in 27 states across the country, representing more than 1,000 companies and organizations in the advanced energy industry. Learn more at www.aee.net and @AEEnet.