Updated: Feb 7
January 26th, 2023 - Nearly 40 Virginians from around the state joined the Energy Burden Coalition for a Day of Action for Affordable Energy in Richmond this January. Advocates headed to the Virginia Capitol to meet with their representatives in support of legislative efforts to advance affordable and clean energy in the Commonwealth. They spoke with their legislators about bills to lower energy costs, protect vulnerable Virginians from utility shutoffs, and expand access to shared solar programs.
Virginians face some of the highest electric bills in the country, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In fact, the Virginia Poverty Law Center has found that 3 in 4 Virginia households are faced with unaffordable electric bills with home heating costs expected to reach the highest level in a decade this winter.
Day of Action attendees began the day hearing directly from the legislators sponsoring key bills to tackle the energy burden crisis in Virginia. Delegate Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax), a speaker at the event and sponsor of the bipartisan Affordable Energy Act (HB 1604), said: “Saving Virginia families money on their electric bills is not controversial. The Affordable Energy Act will do just that, and I look forward to working with advocates and both Chambers to get this important piece of legislation to the Governor’s desk."
Senator Scott Surovell (D- Alexandria) also joined the event to speak about two bills (SB 1266 and SB 1083) to lower the cost to participate in shared solar programs in Dominion territory and to expand shared solar to customers of Appalachian Power and Old Dominion Power. Delegate Suhas Subramanyam (D- Ashburn) shared his own efforts (HB 2267) to protect Virginians' from skyrocketing costs by restoring regulators' ability to cut down on excessive charges on electric bills.
Co-sponsors of the event included Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, Appalachian Voices, Clean Virginia, Virginia Organizing, the Virginia Grassroots Coalition, and Climate Action Alliance for the Valley.
The Energy Burden Coalition is a broad and diverse coalition of organizations and advocates working to lower energy costs and rapidly transition our state to an affordable and clean energy system that puts everyday Virginians first.