Virginia Becomes First Southern State to Mandate Clean Energy

In a move to transition Virginia State’s energy economy to 100% clean, renewable power, the State House passed the largest sustainable energy bill to ever be introduced in the commonwealth. The Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), as the bill is formerly called, pledges to have the state running entirely on renewables by the year 2050.

But what does this mean for the affected companies and workers?

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Virginia Becomes the First Southern State to Mandate Clean Energy

Who’s Affected by the Bill

There are two affected power companies, American Electric Power and Dominion Energy, which have to stop using fuels that emit carbon dioxide by 2045. In case companies fail to meet the 100% renewable energy deadlines, they will have to buy a carbon offset certificate or pay a deficiency tax.

What About Workers

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Virginia Becomes the First Southern State to Mandate Clean Energy

Workers are also at risk of being out of a job due to the bill’s planned measures. To make sure people who lose their job to deficiency costs, the VCEA has come up with a solution to start a fund from a portion of the deficiency payments. The goal of the fund will be to finance training programs to create a modern workforce that can meet the demands of the renewable energy staffing market.

VCEA Is All About Energy Efficiency

The VCEA plan is set to reduce power costs for low- and middle-income households in Virginia. It is estimated they will be saving around $3,500 over 30 years.

The state’s most financially vulnerable families will enjoy one more economic relief: there will be a monthly rate cap of 6% for power for low-income households. The goal of the Percentage of Income Payment Program responsible for the rate cap is to make sure the transition to renewable energy sources does not eat away at people’s hard-earned income.