3 ways Virginia can become a greener state

Earlier this summer, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) assessed the statewide energy initiatives taken on by the state of Virginia. What they found was not good news – out of the 50 states in the U.S., Virginia was found to be 36th in terms of power consumption and clean energy use. Even though the state still has a ways to go in order to become a healthy contributor of green energy, there are certain steps that local governments can take in the immediate future.

Here are a few recommendations from the Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Coalition:

  • Commission a new study: Before embarking on any new legislation or regulations, the Coalition recommends having a new study be done in order to assess the potential energy-efficient options as a resource in Virginia. All clean energy types should be examined – electric, natural gas, nuclear and any joint-fuel programs.
  • Establish a utility: The Coalition feels there should be an advisory board within the state house that will oversee consumer education, financial incentives and other areas of energy efficiency and how it will have a direct impact on the general public. The group recognizes this would be a very bold move for the state to take.
  • Mandate energy benchmarks: State owned facilities should be required to meet certain energy-efficient standards that are set by the government. Factories and other buildings would need to disclose their annual power use and undertake any improvements that are created.

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