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Important Energy Efficiency Legislation Awaits VA Governor Northam’s Signature

In 2018, The Virginia Multifamily Energy Efficiency Coalition (MFEEC) was excited that the Grid Transformation and Security Act (GTSA) was signed into law requiring Dominion and Appalachian Power (ApCo) to seek approval for $1 Billion in energy efficiency programs over the next ten years. In 2019, there is more to celebrate: several bills passed that will help ensure the success of the GTSA and provide more funding for energy efficiency and solar programs for low-income consumers.

The GTSA required Dominion and ApCo to form stakeholder groups to work with utilities to develop energy efficiency programs. HB 2293/SB 1605 requires these newly formed stakeholder groups to remain active for the full ten year time horizon of the GTSA, guaranteeing ongoing meaningful input from stakeholders. In addition, HB 2292/SB 1662 requires the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to provide a detailed explanation when filed energy efficiency programs are denied, helping utilities and stakeholders refine future energy efficiency filings.

MFEEC was pleased to see the passage of HB 2789, which requires both Dominion and ApCo to develop three-year pilot programs for low-income weatherization and energy efficiency. Customers served through these energy efficiency pilot programs will also be eligible to participate in a companion three-year solar pilot program, with additional funding of up to $25 million per utility.

Finally, HB 2332 creates a stakeholder group to discuss consumer and third-party access energy usage data and provide recommendations to the General Assembly. A key topic of discussion will be third-party access to whole-building energy usage data which would help multifamily owners better manage properties and identify opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades.