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Overview

Advocacy lies at the core of Virginia AEE's work. Through effective engagement with policymakers, elected officials, and regulators, we seek to build an open, competitive marketplace for advanced energy goods and services. Employing advanced energy will allow Virginia to build a more secure, clean, and affordable energy system.

 

Virginia AEE Policy Priorities

Virginia AEE has five overarching policy goals: Improving Virginia's Clean, Healthy & Resilient Schools, Driving Transportation Electrification, Implementation of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), Outcomes-Based Regulation (OBR), and Resiliency to Virginia's Grid. Below you will find detailed information regarding each of these goals and our policy agenda. 


Implementing the Virginia Clean Economy Act

In 2020, the General Assembly passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA). This law transformed energy policy in the Commonwealth. Binding energy efficiency (EERS) and renewable standards (RPS), combined with emission reduction standards and retirement deadlines on fossil-fired power plants, kicked-off Virginia’s transition towards a zero-carbon electric grid.The VCEA is a central policy to decarbonizing Virginia’s electric grid, cutting emissions from power plants, and combating climate change.  Our analysis indicates, when fully implemented, the VCEA will help create over 13,000 jobs each year in advanced energy and attract millions in new investment and tax revenue to communities across the Commonwealth.

Outcomes-Based Regulation (OBR)

Despite the 21st century transformation of Virginia energy policy, the regulatory model that guides our utilities remains rooted in the 20th century. Under this traditional “cost-of-service” regulatory system, Virginia’s utilities are still incentivized to maximize capital investments (inputs) and drive up electricity usage. This is where Outcomes-based regulation (OBR) (also called performance-based regulation, or PBR) plays a factor. OBR is a regulatory framework that aligns the financial interests and actions of regulated utilities with public policy objectives and customer interests. OBR rewards utilities for achieving specific outcomes while ensuring grid reliability and enabling deployment of new, innovative technologies. Simply put, OBR transitions the utility from a focus on “inputs” to a focus on “outcomes”. 

Driving Transportation Electrification

The U.S. is in the beginning stages of a transportation revolution, as we have seen legislative and regulatory actions taken to transition from fossil-fired transportation to electric vehicles (EVs). This transition, both in light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty fleets, brings with it a host of economic, energy, and health benefits. Electrifying Virginia’s transportation sector, from light-duty cars and trucks to school buses, municipal transit, and heavy-duty fleets, represents an economic, environmental, and public health opportunity for the Commonwealth. The advanced transportation industry employs 5,500 people in the Commonwealth today and with the proper support, is primed to grow.

Clean, Healthy & Resilient Schools

There are currently over 2,800 public elementary, middle, and high schools across the Commonwealth, as well as an array of public colleges and universities. These institutions are critical to the development and success of generations of Virginians. Looking to the future, advanced energy and transportation technologies have an important role to play in making our schools more clean, resilient, and healthy.These technologies can help schools save money, protect students and faculty's health, and increase energy resilience, enabling schools to serve as community shelters during extreme weather events.

 

Grid Reliability & Resilience In An Age Of Increasing Risk

In the past year alone, multiple regions across the country have experienced unprecedented threats to the electricity system due to natural disasters and extreme natural events such as wildfires, deep freezes, droughts, and extreme heat. During these extreme events, maintaining an electricity supply is essential to keeping communities healthy and safe.There is no silver bullet to building a resilient grid, but a modernized and interconnected grid, resource diversity, and effective planning can all help to help Virginia’s grid be more resilient and reliable. Although Virginia has taken the steps in order to improve the grid, there’s more we can do within our borders to strengthen the local grid that serves families and businesses day-to-day.

Planning for Virginia’s Energy Future

Each Virginia Governor is obligated to put together a long-term “Energy Plan” for the Commonwealth. In 2018, the Northam’s Administration conducted an in-depth process to solicit feedback from stakeholders regarding policies to encourage more solar, on-shore and offshore wind, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and battery storage in the Commonwealth. Virginia AEE, as a leading voice for advanced energy businesses in Virginia, engaged closely with the Administration throughout that process and provided detailed comments.  

In May of 2018, Dominion Energy, Virginia's largest utility, submitted their Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to the State Corporation Commission (SCC). The IRP lays out a 15-year plan the utility intends to follow to meet anticipated changes in load and regulation. Using projections from the utility's filing, expert testimony from the advanced energy industry, and the STEP model - a least-cost resource planning tool developed by AEE - we developed an alternative IRP. Our analysis indicates that, though greater deployment of advanced energy, Dominion can reduce impacts to consumers, and energy imports while fully complying with potential future carbon regulations.

Building a 21st Century Energy System 

The U.S. utility sector has entered a period of change not seen in decades. This change is being driven by new technologies, evolving customer needs, and an increased focus on grid resiliency. Virginia has taken early steps towards “grid modernization” but we have a long way to go. Modernization should create greater customer choice, enhance the utilization of distributed resources, and improve flexibility, while keeping costs in check. Achieving these goals will require the deliberate engagement of regulators, policymakers, and consumers. 

 

Mapping Virginia's Energy Transition: A Report

This report and fact sheet identify energy efficiency program and portfolio pathways by which Virginia Electric and Power Company (Dominion) can meet and exceed its Virginia Clean Economy Act efficiency targets. The report and fact sheet summarizes key findings. Energy Futures Group led the development of these resources, which merican Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE commissioned in partnership with the National Housing Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and the Virginia chapter of the Advanced Energy Economy.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nonprofit research organization, develops policies to reduce energy waste and combat climate change.

Explore Our Virginia Success Stories

Learn about what advanced energy is doing for communities across the Commonwealth and how lawmakers can support more policies like these.