Press Statement From VAEEC Regarding Gov. Northam’s Executive Order on Energy

Gov. Northam unveiled an executive order on energy that will bring key improvements to Virginia’s energy system. Gov. Northam’s Executive Order 43 highlights a strong commitment to advance clean energy in Virginia. As one of the co-hosts of the inaugural Virginia Clean Energy Summit, the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council appreciates the Governor for announcing this Executive Order this morning at the Summit. Energy efficiency is one of the most practical, cost-effective tools to reduce our energy consumption and dependence on fossil fuels, which in turn, helps reduce carbon emissions.

Important items include a greater number of jobs in the energy efficiency sector; annual spending targets for energy efficiency in-line with the Grid Transformation & Security Act’s total energy efficiency spending; a plan for the state government to meet their 10% energy efficiency goal by 2022; and a commitment to utilities. We applaud the Governor’s Lead-by-Example strategies as outlined in Executive Order 43. For example, his recognition and prioritization of Energy Performance Contracting is a great financing mechanism to meet public savings targets. As the Governor noted this morning, Energy Performance Contracting is the best way to maximize energy savings for public buildings.

The VAEEC can serve as an expert source on the executive order and what this means for energy efficiency in the Commonwealth. VAEEC is committed to providing resources and continuing to work with DMME, to ensure the Governor’s goals are fulfilled as part of his climate legacy. “This is a positive step forward for the energy efficiency industry in Virginia,” Chelsea Harnish, executive director of VAEEC, said. “We applaud the Governor for prioritizing Workforce Development and advancing energy efficiency jobs across the Commonwealth. As the Governor mentioned this morning, the workforce in these growing industries is skilled and well-positioned to adapt to the energy job demands of the future.”