Speak up now against unfair rules for new community solar programs in our state. Comment period ends today!
Until recently, people in Virginia who rent their homes, or whose roofs are not ideal for solar panels, could only dream about going solar. That’s because up until now, true community solar was not legal in our state. But on July 1st, two bills were passed that changed this, and the state took a step toward allowing all people in Virginia access to solar, regardless of income level or homeownership.
A community solar program allows anyone to purchase a subscription to a nearby solar array and earn credit on their utility bill from the solar energy produced by their share of the array. To make the program work for most people, the subscription would ideally cost less than the equal amount of power that the utility company would provide. If it’s set up right, the program saves people money on their electric bill, creates local jobs in renewable energy, and fights climate change: win-win-win.
Community solar array installed by Ipsun in Washington DC
The bills that were passed in the VA General Assembly created a “shared solar” program which allows people in Dominion territory to buy a share of a community solar array and receive credit on their bill; and a “multi-family solar” program, which allows people to buy a subscription from a solar facility on the roof of their apartment building or condo complex.
Both bills are in the rulemaking process now at the State Corporation Commission (SCC), where the details of the programs are being worked out. Specifically, the rate at which people’s utility bills will be credited and other associated fees are being decided. If those rates are too high, and the cost of participating in the program is more than you would normally pay for the dirty fossil fuel energy that comes from your utility, then the community solar program will clearly be dead on arrival.
We cannot let this happen. Today is the final day for you to speak up and let the SCC know that Virginia needs community solar. All people deserve access to less expensive power from renewable energy, regardless of where they live. It is one of the most powerful tools we have to allow the communities most affected by polluting fossil fuel energy to switch to renewable energy, and reap the benefits of less expensive solar power. It is a win-win on all fronts. Everyone who cares about solar needs to speak out today!
Click here to submit your comments to the SCC now.
It helps to personalize your comments from the suggested script and let the SCC know why you think community solar is important for Virginia.
For more about the unfair process these bills have been subjected to, read this great Ivy Main article in the Virginia Mercury.
Thanks for taking action! Together, we will make Virginia a state where equal access to renewable energy is a reality.