As business and industry increasingly depend on electronic and connected devices, machinery, and systems, the need for a dependable and sustainable supply of energy continues to intensify. Increasing population and economic growth will drive even greater energy consumption in the future. So too will the electrification of the transportation sector and other segments of the Virginia economy. 

Increasingly, the Commonwealth envisions that these needs will be met in growing proportion by clean and renewable sources of energy. Continued investment in the modernization of Virginia’s energy grid is needed to facilitate this transition. Updates to key energy infrastructure are needed to support the provision of clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy.

The following recommendations recognize the steps Virginia must take to build a more diverse energy portfolio that is reliable, affordable, and weaves innovative solutions for the future into energy policy.

  • Support efforts to empower energy users with detailed information about their usage and emissions footprint, and promote rate designs that leverage price signals to encourage more active management of energy consumption
  • Highlight Virginia’s leadership role in combining utility energy efficiency programs and energy assistance programs
  • Develop and promote energy solutions and other programs which cater to companies’ sustainability objectives while meeting the reliability and resiliency needs of the economy

  • Recognize, support, and encourage the need for a diverse energy portfolio serving industrial, commercial and residential users that incorporates reliability, affordability, and weaves in innovation 
  • Prioritize investments in energy that ensure competitive rates, attract economic development, and environmental protection
  • Promote responsible and geographically diverse in-state deployment of energy resource types required by recent policy changes, including solar, wind, and energy storage
  • Capitalize on carbon-reducing innovations such as renewable natural gas, green hydrogen, advanced nuclear technology, and other promising energy developments
  • Account for businesses that may not be well suited for electrification, such as those with thermal energy needs where natural gas, hydrogen, and biomass may be more appropriate

  • Support the work of the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium, Virginia’s Community Colleges, and the Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium on energy workforce and education pathways
  • Continue to support the Get into Energy Innovation Challenge as a national model to engage students in project-based learning regarding energy and introduce them to potential careers in the energy industry
  • Encourage the expansion of initiatives like the Powerline Worker Training program at Southside Virginia Community College as a model to meet the powerline technician needs of the energy industry
  • Build on Virginia’s best-in-class Troops to Energy program to further integrate veterans into all segments of Virginia’s energy industry
  • Refine and periodically revisit curricula established to support Virginia’s energy career cluster to ensure that knowledge and skillsets reflect the latest industry competencies and credential models

  • Encourage uniform, consistent regulations that reduce barriers to energy project development at the local level and enable fact-based discussions and decision-making
  • Engage diverse and low-income communities throughout the clean energy transition and consider the potential benefits to be gained by avoiding disproportionate negative impacts
  • Support grid modernization initiatives that make Virginia’s energy system ready to accommodate the fundamental changes brought about by decarbonization and electrification and prioritize reliability, affordability, and sustainability
  • Continue supporting landmark zero-carbon investments like the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project anchored at the Port of Virginia in Hampton Roads, which also have the potential to spur regional economic revitalization
  • Continue to support Virginia’s natural gas utilities in implementing the Commonwealth’s Steps to Advance Virginia’s Energy Plan (SAVE) statute, resulting in the creation of jobs to upgrade the infrastructure necessary to assure safe, reliable, and affordable energy, with accompanying reductions in greenhouse gas emissions