General Assembly sends local government solar bills to the Governor for signing

February 19, 2019

After months of debate and testimony, the General Assembly has seen the light. Legislation expanding municipal net metering to local governments successfully ended its journey through the General Assembly late last week and will now head to the Governor to be signed into law.

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.

VACo spent several months prior to the legislative session working with the patrons to draft and refine these bills.

VACo was pleased to support and speak on behalf of these bills as they made their way through each chamber.  Ultimately, SB 1779 passed the Senate 40-0 and the House 85-12, while HB 2792 passed the Senate 39-1 and the House 78-21.

We thank Senator Adam Ebbin and Delegate Kathy Tran, as well as all the other local government representatives and stakeholders who tirelessly worked on this bill for their efforts and support.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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