By Karen Schaufeld
The Virginia General Assembly has been in session for only three weeks, but the halfway mark – “Crossover” – is only two weeks away. This year, it falls on February 16, 2016, and at that time, according to Delegate J. Randall Minchew’s most recent Minchew Memo, “more than 1,300 bills will have traveled through the committee process, and if passed out of committee, head to the floor . . . for passage or defeat.”
Why should you care? If a bill has not passed out of committee at that time, then it is dead. In fact, two bills that dealt with renewable energy have already died. HB 480, which would have established a renewable energy property tax credit on the cost of the renewable energy property, was killed last week. HB 638, which would have permitted higher education institutions to enter into a public-private partnership to generate wind or solar power died in committee.
Renewable Energy Legislation for Virginia
If you want more renewable energy options for Virginia, it is time for you to reach out to your VA Delegate or Senator and, if you are enjoying this, the members of the Labor and Commerce Committee of the House and make sure they know how important it is to you.
As we mentioned in a previous post about energy initiatives in the 2016 VA General Assembly, Powered by Facts supports HB 444, sponsored by Delegate G. Manoli Loupassi, who represents House District 68. We also supported HB 480, sponsored by Delegate Richard C. “Rip” Sullivan, Jr., before it was killed.
There are a number of other renewable energy bills currently being considered by Virginia lawmakers, and the Powered by Facts team has reviewed them. Along with HB 444, we support the following proposed House Bills and encourage you to learn more about them and offer your support as well.
HB 1285: VA community renewable energy programs – Introduced by Del. Minchew, who represents House District 10, would help to provide access to renewable energy by allowing multiple customers to join together to own a renewable energy generating source.
HB 1286: Distributed and renewable generation of electric energy; net energy metering and third party purchase agreements in VA — Also introduced by Del. Minchew – exempts non-utility sellers of renewable energy from having to register as a public utility, removes the 1% Commonwealth-wide cap on net metering eligible energy, loosens capacity limitations on individual net energy metering systems, and adds the goal of promoting and encouraging private sector distributed generation.
Powered by Facts also supports a number of Senate bills that address renewable energy and will share those with you in our next post.