Thank you for this opportunity to offer input into the next Virginia Energy Plan. We are pleased to know the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to push forward these important conversations around energy. At this time, we would like to propose that the next Virginia Energy Plan:
1) Clearly distinguish between efficiency and conservation and make sure both are sufficiently addressed by the plan. Energy efficiency is an important sub-category of energy conservation.
2) Emphasize energy efficiency by setting clear performance and data tracking expectations for new construction and major renovation capital projects funded with state money.
3) Promote renewable energy technologies by recommending that all new construction and major renovation projects funded with state money are designed to receive renewable energy technology within five years (an example for rooftop PV would mean building structure, electrical conduit, and electrical rooms are all appropriately sized for future PV installations); incentivize renewable energy technologies in the private sector by providing tax benefits and removing legal barriers related to their installation.
4) Encourage public reporting of the consumption of all energy sources, including electricity, natural gas and other sources, in state-owned buildings, as well as encourage the public reporting of the renewable energy produced on state-owned buildings and sites. Furthermore, actual source and site Energy Usage Intensities (EUIs) could be publicly reported and compared to appropriate benchmarks. This information would be ideally reported at the building level.
5) Identify appropriate incentives for existing buildings or new construction/major renovation projects that meet or exceed the targets set in the Virginia Energy Plan.
6) Be appropriately funded to make sure the actionable items can be, and are, implemented.