According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Clean Power Act will have a major impact on Virginia.
The Clean Power Act was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce heat-trapping carbon emissions from existing power plants. Where is Virginia in terms of energy efficiency now?
- Its renewable energy sits at about 5.5 percent, lagging in both solar and wind power. The projected renewable energy goal, as part of the Voluntary Renewable Electricity Standard states renewable energy should be at 15 percent now.
- Virginia's electric generation is split between nuclear, natural gas and coal.
- Virginia also has an Energy Efficiency Resource goal initiative, which began with Governor Terry McAuliffe. Its goal of 10 percent in electricity savings is to be met by 2020.
- Virginia is currently number 35 in terms of energy efficiency of the 50 states. If Virginia, like other states, increased efficiency by 1.5 to 2 percent every year, the state could meet its goals.
The Clean Power Act, in its current state, would have Virginia reduce its rate of carbon dioxide by about 38 percent. As the state is already closing old coal plants and meeting voluntary renewable standards, Virginia would get credit for these acts.
Governor Terry McAuliffe recently signed six clean energy and energy efficiency bills into law. These, according to Energy Efficiency Markets, include:
- Virginia Solar Development Authority: Aims to foster solar developments.
- Net Energy Metering: Doubles the amount of generation capacity of solar net metering facilities.
- Utility-scale Solar: Allows for utility cost recovery for construction or purchase of solar facilities with over 1MW.
- Natural Gas Energy Efficiency: Aims to increase approval of energy efficiency programs.
- Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program: Expands the already existing PACE program.
- Green Jobs Tax Credit: Extends a $500 per job Green Jobs Tax Credit for three years through July 1, 2018.
Learn more about energy efficient advancements in Virginia or schedule an energy audit in your home to make a change as well.