Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
8/23/18  4:06 pm
Commenter: Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Re: The 2018 Virginia Energy Plan Input

August 23, 2018


The Honorable Ralph S. Northam
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA 23218


RE: The 2018 Virginia Energy Plan

Dear Governor Northam:

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce is the largest business advocacy organization in the Commonwealth with more than 26,000 members. As you are aware, we released Blueprint Virginia 2025 at the end of last year which outlines our priorities and recommendations for making Virginia the number one state for business. Our goal in Blueprint Virginia 2025 is to make Virginia the best state for business once again, a goal shared with you. Throughout our Blueprint stakeholder engagement process, which included over 6,000 members of the business community, we heard from business leaders on how important affordable, reliable energy is to Virginia's economic competitiveness.

A part of ensuring our success in achieving our goal of being the best state for business is to protect our competitive electric rates. Business climate rankings, like Forbes and CNBC, factor energy and utility costs into their "cost of doing business index," which can influence our overall position in these studies. We believe favorable energy costs are an important input Virginia must maintain to remain economically competitive.

In developing the 2018 edition of the Virginia Energy Plan, we ask that you consider policies that will protect Virginia’s competitive energy costs for commercial and industrial employers. We heard time and time again during Blueprint Virginia 2025 that the cost of energy was a concern among companies in some of Virginia’s most promising industries like advanced manufacturing, information technology, data centers, etc. High-energy prices limit the capacity of companies from reinvesting in areas like job creation, innovation, research, etc.

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce has long supported policies that promote energy independence and the development of a robust supply of energy from all sources including traditional and alternative sources of energy. It is expected that energy consumption in Virginia will continue to rise, reflecting the increase in population, economic growth, and growing electrification of the transportation system. Therefore, to ensure a vibrant and growing economy, we must develop strategies that consider all energy resources – oil, nuclear, natural gas, coal, wind, biomass, solar, etc. We ask that you consider a balanced portfolio of energy options when creating the Virginia Energy Plan – all options will help us achieve our economic potential.

In addition, we are concerned with policies that may be unintentionally shifting costs to ratepayers. For example, in the state’s current net metering program, we are concerned that ratepayers that do not participate may be absorbing the costs of the program.

Thank you for considering our recommendations for the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan.


Best Regards,


Barry E. DuVal
President & CEO
Virginia Chamber of Commerce

CommentID: 66492