Last Tuesday night, MDV-SEIA met with local community members at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington where Jon Hillis of Prospect Solar presented on the barriers to solar in the state of Virginia alongside Susan Stillman from the Sierra Club and representatives from Interfaith Power & Light. The goal of these meetings is to gather interested folks and highlight the many difficulties people in Virginia face when trying to install a solar system on their homes, as well as educate them on the policies currently in front of the state legislature that could help alleviate these issues.
The Unitarian Universalist Church where the event was held has had personal encounters with navigating the solar market in Virginia. They had sent out a RFP asking for quotes on a system that would include financing in order to help them manage the upfront costs. However, when the bids came back, they received far fewer than they had hoped and all that would have resulted in their electricity rates costing them more than rates with Dominion. Without an SREC market and attractive rebates, financiers see the risk in a system in Virginia as much higher than states like Maryland and charge for their services accordingly, making it impossible for a nonprofit organization like the Unitarian Universalist Church to go solar.
After hearing about the complicated policy landscape facing the solar industry in Virginia, the attendees were most interested in learning about how to get involved, and especially which pieces of legislation have the greatest chance of success this session. MDV-SEIA is actively engaged promoting legislation that will expand the solar market in Virginia. Outreach from Virginia residents to their state representatives will ensure legislators are aware that clean, green energy is a priority for their constituents. To support this effort, simply click here to find who your representatives are and access their contact information.