NBC29-Va. Senate Backs Green Energy Incentive Program

Small, residential wind powered electrical generator

Small, residential wind powered electrical generator

NBC29-Va. Senate Backs Green Energy Incentive Program
Va. Senate Backs Green Energy Incentive Program

State lawmakers might expand a proposal brought to them by Charlottesville to cover clean energy support programs across the entire state.

Before the start of the legislative session, Charlottesville came to lawmakers with a request: Help us start a green energy incentive program. State Sen. Creigh Deeds D-25th District drafted the bill.

“No sooner had it been introduced that Albemarle County indicated that they were interested in it as well, and then Arlington County said ‘Hey, we want to be part of that bill too,”‘ Deeds said.

Lawmakers expanded the measure to apply to any interested city or county. Monday the Senate voted 38-1 in favor of the bill. “It’s just really is encouraging to see so many people jump on this in the way that they have,” Deeds said in an interview after the vote.

The bill allows local governments to start programs to provide incentives to people who use solar, wind or geothermal energy in their homes or businesses. It includes both new construction and renovation.

Lawmakers say it’s a bold new option for communities. “Some of the problems with state laws is it doesn’t allow localities to be innovative and creative in how we address our problems,” said Del. David Toscano D-57th District, the bill’s co-patron.

Deeds said the program changes that, “This can be a real incentive to produce energy efficiency and cost savings in every community.”

People at the State Capitol say it’s no surprise a measure like this came from Charlottesville’s City Hall. “Our region always wants to be on the cutting edge, and energy is a very hot item right now,” Toscano said.

The bill now heads to the House of Delegates, where it’s likely to receive significant support, especially because it uses local dollars — and not state money — for the incentives

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