Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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9/14/22  11:31 am
Commenter: Lane Gunn

An Energy Plan for the Future of Virginia Business

Dear Commonwealth of Virginia,

As a Virginia business owner, I am always looking for ways to shield my operation from the rising costs of inflation. Research has shown that tapping into energy from shared solar programs is an efficient and reliable way to safeguard businesses against times of economic instability. With that in mind, I urge you to make shared solar programs integral to Virginia’s 2022 Energy Plan and expand the Shared Solar Program to 5000MWs so that businesses like mine can insulate themselves from rising energy costs and volatility. Currently my business has only one option to purchase electricity and that option comes with significant future risk of price increases that are outside of my control. By enabling a robust shared solar market, I can help mitigate that risk by subscribing to a shared solar project.  

I am the Project Manager of Red Oak Excavating, Inc., which has operated in the Commonwealth for more than 36 years.

However, inflation continues to impact my company’s bottom line and it is only getting worse. With prices on the rise, customers are increasingly paying more attention to their spending habits. In addition, the price of commodities, transportation, and services have drastically risen, only further shrinking our profit margins.

While I understand many of the issues related to inflation must be addressed at the federal level, state lawmakers have the ability to help businesses lower the cost of utilities – starting with investments in shared solar. Energy produced by shared solar facilities is immune to inflationary pressures and will help business owners lock in a low-cost and reliable source of energy.

Business owners in other states with successful shared solar programs are reaping the benefits in the form of lower power bills. Due to Virginia’s proposed wildly high minimum bill fee – championed by Dominion Energy – I will not be able to access those same savings. 

I believe in an energy plan that empowers business owners in the Commonwealth by reducing the financial burden on high utility bills. For all the reasons outlined above, I strongly encourage you to help break down any barriers to maximize savings and ensure shared solar programs have a significant role in Virginia’s 2022 Energy Plan and the Commonwealth’s Energy Future.

We humbly request the following items into the VA Energy Plan to ensure day to day operating expenses can be controlled economically, while creating a more resilient and reliable grid that ensures our business can continue to provide the same quality service to our customers.

  • Establish a permanent shared solar market with a 5000MW cap.
  • Establish a comprehensive fixed minimum bill to ensure shared solar project economics are viable and infrastructure costs are fixed for grid access, not to exceed $25.
  • Establish a Consumer Bill of Rights to put the rights of households and independent businesses before monopoly interests.
  • Establish TOU rates that incentivize private investment of distributed energy resources into public infrastructure that benefits all rate classes.


Lane Gunn

Project Manager

Red Oak Excavating

CommentID: 128629