Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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8/9/18  12:08 am
Commenter: Tiziana Bottino, The Greater Prince William Climate Action Network

Energy Efficiency and Renewables

We cannot discuss sustainable energy policy without talking about energy efficiency. Striving to become more energy efficient will is the most cost-effective and practical way to reduce GHG emissions. Reducing energy use reduces energy costs which will save money to consumers. According to the International Energy Agency, improved energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and transportation could reduce the world's energy needs in 2050 by one third, and help control global emissions of greenhouse gases. Becoming a more energy efficient state will also yield national security benefit because we will not require as much energy imports from foreign countries and might slow down the rate of depletion of domestic energy resources.

The US Department of Energy has stated that there is potential for energy saving in the magnitude of 90 Billion kWh by increasing home energy efficiency. Virginia could and should take the lead in implementing strict energy efficiency policy to save consumers money, and to spare our atmosphere from the ill effects of GHGs.

There needs to be incentives for local governments to partner with the state and utilities to deliver programming, since they are so close to residents and have multiple ways to engage them.

It is also essential that Virginia begins phasing out fossil fuels as main source of energy. The devastating effects of global warming are all around us right now, not in a distance future, and we must not continue to contribute to the destruction of our natural resources. A plan to phase out fossil fuels by 2050 needs to begin without further delay if we want to avoid the worst case scenario.

Once again, climate change poses the highest risk to national security. The naval base in Norfolk floods not just in heavy rains or during hurricanes. It floods when the sun is shining, too, if the tide is high or the winds are right. It floods all the time.

Offshore wind has the potential to be the single largest source of clean energy in Virginia, allowing the Commonwealth to quickly meet carbon reduction goals, aggressively confront the climate crisis, and at the same time create thousands of new jobs and business opportunities. The large Virginia commercial wind energy area leased to Dominion Energy is capable of producing over 2,000 megawatts of wind energy - enough to power over 500,000 homes.  Leadership from the Governor can spur Dominion to speed up its development of this resource, which has been significantly lagging in the past.


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