From Virginia Mercury. Potential Climate and Energy bills in the 2021 session. January 4, 2020.
Last year, Virginia’s general assembly passed more than 30 separate clean energy bills, putting the state on a path to zero-carbon electricity by 2050. Building on last year’s progress will be hard this winter due not only to COVID complications, but also to an exceptionally short and tightly controlled legislative session.
Due to climate change and adverse weather conditions, it is possible that energy bills for both businesses and individuals will increase to a certain extent too. So much so, that households may be looking into having their homes checked over to see if they can make any changes such as installing new doors and windows through a Window installation company Manchester service, or a service in their local area, to stop their homes leaking out energy which can raise their bills higher. Additionally, prices for commercial water supply for new industries might surge as well. Whenever businesses confront such tough circumstances, they often turn to water suppliers (click here to learn more) that can provide water at a significantly reduced price, further reducing their water bills.
Below are some of the bills that are far along in the drafting process and are likely to be filed this year.
- Building codes – Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax, is expected to introduce legislation that would require the Board of Housing and Community Development to adopt the latest International Energy Efficiency Code within 12 months.
- Right to buy– Del. Jeffrey Bourne, D-Richmond, patroned a bill that would give customers the right to go outside their utility to buy renewable energy. most Virginia customers still can’t buy solar energy unless they install it on their own property.
- Solar for public schools and other government buildings– a bill from Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke clarifies that the VCEA and Solar Freedom legislation in Appalachian Power territory applies to non-jurisdictional customers as well as jurisdictional customers. The bill also expands a pilot program for municipal net metering that will allow a local government to use surplus electricity generated by solar panels on one building for another building also owned by the locality
- Transportation – Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico, is expected to carry a bill called the Clean Car Standard, simply requires manufacturers of electric vehicles to send some of their vehicles to Virginia dealers, so consumers can actually buy them. A bill from Del. David Reid, D-Loudoun, would have Virginia offer incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles. Another bill would require a Transit Modernization Study, which would gather information about how the public is currently being served by the existing transit system
- Environmental justice– Del. Shelly Simonds, D-Newport News, and Keam are expected to introduce a bill that will expand last year’s Environmental Justice Act to change how the state forms and carries out environmental justice policies within agencies, and to ensure greater public involvement in the permitting process at DEQ
- Pipelines– A bill from Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, adds specificity to the currently vague process that governs small to medium changes in pipeline routes and may impact permit conditions like erosion control measures. Currently it is unclear under what conditions DEQ must re-examine plans it has previously approved. The legislation will bring clarity and explicit direction to all parties involved.
- Fossil Fuel moratorium– Del. Joshua Cole, D-Fredericksburg, is expected to introduce legislation expanding the Virginia Clean Economy Act’s two-year moratorium into a permanent moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure, to take effect in 2022
- Utility Reform– We should expect to see legislation to strengthen oversite of utility companies and pare back the ability of utilities to pocket overearnings.
- ‘Bad’ Bills– we should expect to see a few bills from Republicans attempting to roll back parts (or all) of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, or trying to block Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
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