Delegate Kathy Tran’s and Senator Adam Ebbin’s local government renewable energy bills have each survived the General Assembly’s halfway point and will now be taken up in the opposite chambers.
HB 2792 (Tran) and SB 1779 (Ebbin) establish a six-year pilot program that allows a locality to use excess energy generated by a renewable energy project to be credited towards electric bills for other municipal accounts. Under the program, a county could install solar panels or wind turbines “ . . . located on airports, landfills, parking lots, parks, post-mine land, or a reservoir that is owned, operated, or leased by the municipality” and use excess energy generated at the facility to be credited to other metered accounts. The result will be a reduction in the amount of electricity for which the county is billed by the utility.
SB 1779 cruised through the Senate, unanimously passing the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and the full Senate. HB 2792 also fared well, passing the House Commerce and Labor Committee, 19-2 (with one abstention), and passing the full House, 78-21. Each bill will now be reheard in the opposite chamber, where they should have a smooth path to passage.
Prior to session convening, VACo, along with other representatives from local governments and energy companies, spent months working on this legislation with the patrons. As the bills have journeyed through the House and Senate, VACo has been pleased to speak in support of this important legislation and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.
VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.