VAEEC Statement: Governor McAuliffe Signs EE Legislation

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Governor McAuliffe chose Earth Day 2015 as the fitting time to sign several pieces of clean energy legislation into law, including a pair of bills promoting energy efficiency.  The VAEEC was well-represented at the event with a number of member representatives joining the celebration.  The new clean energy laws include two VAEEC priorities: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, and a clarification to the Conservation and Ratemaking Efficiency (CARE) Act which regulates the state’s natural gas utilities.

The PACE legislation is the culmination of many years of work to have Virginia join the majority of states that have successfully implemented the program. PACE is a loan program that can be implemented by localities, allowing commercial property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy measures for their properties and repay the loans as special assessments. VAEEC Board Member Bill Greenleaf of Virginia Community Capital spearheaded the successful campaign. Read the final language.The update to the CARE Act clarifies how efficiency programs proposed by the gas utilities are evaluated by the State Corporation Commission. The change, supported by the utilities and the SCC, promises to result in more robust efficiency program offerings for Virginia customers. Read the final language.

“The VAEEC thanks the Governor, his Administration, the bill sponsors, and the General Assembly for the great support of PACE financing and the CARE Act fix,” said Ken Rosenfeld, Executive Director of the VAEEC. “Both bills were overwhelmingly passed, reflecting the bipartisan support for energy efficiency in Virginia.”

“PACE financing provides a substantial new option to expand opportunities for commercial property owners. The CARE Act clarification, by providing a better measure of the true cost effectiveness of utility efficiency programs, promises to bring new opportunities to Virginia consumers. These two laws are a significant step forward for energy efficiency in the Commonwealth, and that means lower energy bills, cleaner air and local jobs. We have much more to do to reach the state’s energy goals, but this year’s General Assembly session was a home run for energy efficiency.”

The two new laws will be featured topics of discussion at the VAEEC Spring Meeting, Monday, May 11, 2:00-5:00pm, at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.  Register now.