solar sunrise

Take Action For Solar Freedom!

Please help us support the Solar Freedom bill. Here are the “Easy 8” reforms that the Solar Freedom bill addresses:

  1. Raising from 1% to 10% the cap on the total amount of solar that can be net metered in a
    utility territory
  2. Making third-party financing using power purchase agreements (PPAs) legal for all
    customers of IOUs, removing current cap
  3. Allowing local government entities to install solar facilities of up to 5 MW on governmentowned property and use the electricity for schools or other government-owned buildings located on nearby property, even if not contiguous
  4. Allowing all customers to attribute output from a single solar array to multiple meters on
    the same or adjacent property of the same customer
  5. Allowing the owner of a multi-family residential building to install a solar facility on the
    building or surrounding property and sell the electricity to tenants
  6. Removing the restriction on customers installing a net-metered solar facility larger than
    required to meet their previous 12 months’ demand
  7. Raising the size cap for net metered non-residential solar facilities from 1 MW to 3 MW
  8. Removing standby charges on residential facilities sized between 10-20 kW

Enacting these reforms will give local governments more opportunities to install solar on
government property as well as help residents and businesses invest in solar. This can create savings
for taxpayers, decrease the need for fossil fuels, help meet local sustainability goals, ensure access
to solar by low-income apartment tenants, and support local jobs and economic development.
The net metering provisions of Solar Freedom do not apply to rural electric cooperatives, which
operate under another section of the law. The Solar Freedom bill also includes amendments to the Commonwealth Energy Policy to support distributed generation.

Read more about Ipsun’s effort to remove solar barriers in Virginia on our VA policy page!

Take Action:

Here is a sample email you can send to the list of legislators we’ve included below – or just give them a call. Please feel free to personalize and make it your own.

Dear Delegate ____ OR Senator ____,

Please vote for the Solar Freedom Bill (House Bill 572 OR Senate Bill 710). As a homeowner who has gone solar, I feel strongly that other homeowners and businesses in Virginia should be able to do the same, and that any barriers to the process should be removed. Solar saves us money and helps us take part in the fight against climate change. It’s important to me that Virginia be a leader in renewable energy, and that we meet the Governor’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.

The Solar Freedom bill removes 8 legal barriers to customer rooftop solar. Currently, Virginia law restricts net metering to 1%. That 1% cap will be reached in 2020; and once reached, homeowners and businesses will not be able to go solar unless they buy battery storage as well. This would make adding solar energy cost prohibitive and less productive for most people.

Additionally, the cap on the solar PPA (power purchase agreement) pilot has been met, so no new projects like the historic Fairfax County PPA initiative will be allowed. In fact, the Fairfax project has been put on hold until the laws are changed because the cap was met before they got started! This is unacceptable. The General Assembly should be ridding the Virginia Code of laws that prevent the customers from choosing solar energy. Given the climate crisis, the General Assembly should be picking low hanging fruit, such as Solar Freedom, to move Virginia into the clean energy economy.

Sincerely,

Thanks so much for speaking up for solar! These legislators will hear the bill in subcommittee next week and need to hear from real solar customers about why solar is important in our state. Please email or call early and often!

Delegate Stephen Heretick (D79), (804) 698-1079, DelSHeretick@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Hala Ayala (D51), (804) 698-1051, DelHAyala@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Terry Kilgore (R1), (804) 698-1001, DelTKilgore@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Lee Ware (R65), (804) 698-1065, DelLWare@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Danny Marshall (R14), (804) 698-1014, DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Israel O’Quinn (R5), (804) 698-1005, DelIOquinn@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Jeion Ward, Chair (D92), (804) 698-1092, DelJWard@house.virginia.gov

Senator Dick Saslaw, Chair D35, (804) 698-7535, district35@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Tommy Norment R3, (804) 698-7503, district03@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Louise Lucas D18, (804) 698-7518, district18@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Lionell Spruill Sr. D5, (804) 698-7505, district05@senate.virginia.gov

Senator George Barker D3, (804) 698-7539, district39@senate.virginia.gov

Senator Dave Marsden D37, (804) 698-7537, district37@senate.virginia.gov