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VA – Corporate

Green Building Incentive

Industry Recruitment/Support

Production Incentive

Property Tax Incentive

State Loan Program

State Rebate Program

Virginia Corporate Incentives

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Arlington County – Green Building Incentive Program


State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Green Building Incentive
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Daylighting, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential, Construction, Installer/Contractor, Multi-Family Residential
Web Site: http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/EnvironmentalServices/epo/E
In October 1999, the County Board of Arlington adopted a Pilot Green Building Incentive Program using the standards established by the U. S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED*) Green Building Rating System. The program granted bonus densities and/or heights to building projects which received LEED certification. After this testing period, the incentive program was adopted and implemented in April 2000, then later updated and expanded in 2003.

The threshold for consideration of the density and height bonuses includes the full range of LEED certifications, Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Achieving the Certified level does not guarantee a density bonus, but will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and can potentially earn a bonus of .15 floor area ratio (FAR). Buildings achieving LEED Silver can be eligible for up to .25 FAR, and LEED Gold and Platinum can be considered for .35 FAR.

In December 2003, the County also established a Green Building Fund. Developers who participate in the site plan process (meaning their projects are special exceptions to the Zoning Ordinance) and do not achieve official LEED certification are required to contribute $0.045/sq ft. The Green Building Fund is used to provide education and outreach to developers and the community on green building issues. If the building later receives LEED certification, the fee will be refunded. Those projects that achieve LEED certification do not have to contribute.

*The USGBC LEED Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Click here for more information on the national LEED program.


Contact:

Public Information Officer
Arlington County
Environmental Planning Office
2100 Clarendon Blvd
Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: (703) 228-4488
E-Mail: des@arlingtonva.us
Web Site: http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/EnvironmentalServices/EnvironmentalServicesMain.aspx

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Solar Manufacturing Incentive Grant (SMIG) Program


State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Industry Recruitment/Support
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial
Amount: Varies
Maximum Incentive: $4.5 million per year
Authority 1:
Date Effective:
1/1/1996
Created in 1995 and administered jointly by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Solar Manufacturing Incentive Grant (SMIG) Program offers up to $4.5 million per year to encourage the production of photovoltaic panels in Virginia. The incentive is paid at a rate of up to $0.75 per watt for panels sold in a calendar year, with a maximum of 6 MW.

New manufacturers that meet certain production and other criteria are eligible to receive annual incentive grants for six years. The amount will be awarded as follows:

  • Years 1 and 2 – $0.75/watt
  • Years 3 and 4 – $0.50/watt
  • Years 5 and 6 – $0.25/watt

Contact:

Ken Jurman
Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Virginia Division of Energy
Washington Building
1100 Bank Street, 8th floor
Richmond, VA 23219-3638
Phone: (804) 692-3218
Fax: (804) 692-3238
Web Site: http://www.mme.state.va.us/de

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TVA – Generation Partners Program


State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Production Incentive
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Municipal Solid Waste, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential
Amount: $1000 plus $0.12/kWh above the retail rate for solar and $0.03/kWh above the retail rate for all other eligible renewables
Maximum Incentive: None specified
Web Site: http://www.generationpartners.com
Summary:
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and participating power distributors of TVA power offer a production-based incentive program to Valley homeowners and businesses for the installation of renewable generation systems from the following qualifying resources: solar, wind, low-impact hydropower, and biomass called Generation Partners. The energy generated from these renewable generation systems will count towards TVA’s green power pricing program, Green Power Switch.

TVA will purchase 100% of the output from a qualifying system at a premium of $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on top of the retail electricity rate for solar and $0.03 per kilowatt-hour on top of the retail electricity rate for wind, low-impact hydro, and biomass. TVA will retain all rights to any renewable energy credits (including tradable renewable credits or green tags) or other associated benefits of energy generated from the renewable nature of the qualifying system.
Payment is made in the form of a credit issued by the local power company on the monthly power bill for the home or business where the generation system is located. If a qualifying system produces more electricity than it consumes, payment for the excess generation will be issued either monthly or annually, at the discretion of the power company. All new participants in the Generation Partners program will receive a $1000 incentive to offset the upfront cost of the qualifying system.

The installed capacity goal for the entire program is 200 megawatts (MW). The contract term is 10 years. Qualifying systems must have a minimum output of 500 watts AC and a maximum output of 999 kilowatts. Installations must also comply with local codes and adhere to guidelines established by the program. All equipment must be in compliance with environmental regulations and national standards, certified by a licensed electrician, and meet all applicable codes. Systems are dual-metered and must have an external disconnect switch, must complete an interconnection agreement, and be grid-tied.

As of October 2009, there are 91 distributors in the Valley that participate in the Generation Partners program; participation is at the discretion of the power company. For more information, visit www.generationpartners.com or call 866-673-4340.

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Local Option – Property Tax Assessment for Energy Efficient Buildings


State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Multi-Family Residential, Low-Income Residential, Agricultural, Institutional
Date Enacted:
3/11/2008

In March 2008, Virginia enacted legislation that would allow local jurisdictions to assess the property tax of energy efficient buildings at a reduced rate. Under this law, eligible energy-efficient buildings, not including the real property on which they are located, may be considered a separate class of property for local taxation purposes. Accordingly, the governing body of any county, city or town may, by ordinance, allow a special assessment of the property taxes for this class of property. An energy-efficient building is defined as any building that exceeds the energy efficiency standards of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code by 30%; meets performance standards of the Green Globes Green Building Rating System, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) System or the EarthCraft House Program; or qualifies as an Energy Star home under federal Energy Star criteria.

Among the communities that have enacted an ordinance implementing this law include:


Contact:

Taxpayer Assistance – Virginia
Virginia Department of Taxation
PO Box 1880
Richmond, VA 23218-1880
Phone: (804) 367-8031
E-Mail: tax-busqtns@state.va.us
Web Site: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/

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Local Option – Property Tax Exemption for Solar


State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential
Amount: Varies (local option)
Maximum Incentive: Varies (local option)
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
1/1/1977
Virginia allows any county, city or town to exempt or partially exempt solar energy equipment or recycling equipment from local property taxes. Residential, commercial or industrial property is eligible. The statute broadly defines solar energy equipment as any that is “designed and used primarily for the purpose of providing for the collection and use of incident solar energy for water heating, space heating or cooling or other application which would otherwise require a conventional source of energy.” Recycling equipment is defined as equipment which is “integral to the recycling process and for use primarily for the purpose of abating or preventing pollution of the atmosphere or waters.”

Cities and counties currently offering an exemption include: Albemarle, Alexandria, Charlottesville, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Fairfax, Falls Church, Hampton, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, King and Queen, Loudoun, Lynchburg, Prince William, Pulaski, Richlands, Roanoke, Spotsylvania, Warren and Wise.


Contact:

Ken Jurman
Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Virginia Division of Energy
Washington Building
1100 Bank Street, 8th floor
Richmond, VA 23219-3638
Phone: (804) 692-3218
Fax: (804) 692-3238
Web Site: http://www.mme.state.va.us/de

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Commonwealth’s Energy Leasing Program


State: Virginia
Incentive Type: State Loan Program
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Lighting, Caulking/Weather-stripping, Duct/Air sealing, Building Insulation, Windows, Doors, Siding, Motors, Custom/Others pending approval
Applicable Sectors: State Government, Institutional
Amount: Minimum loan of $10,000
Terms: Can be repaid in 3, 5, or 7 years
Program Budget: $40 million
Summary:
Lease financing, administered by the Departments of Treasury and Mines, Minerals and Energy provides funding for energy efficiency projects in state facilities. It allows for the purchase of the services and equipment required to develop, design, and install an energy efficiency project. Agencies can lease or “borrow” a minimum of $10,000 and make repayments over 3, 5, or 7 years. The funds can be used to finances projects such as lighting and motor efficiency upgrades, building envelope enhancements, distribution system improvements, and energy management controls.

This program was unfunded for much of 2008 and 2009, and in late September 2009 the Governor announced that $40 million dollars was recapitalizing the fund.


Contact:

Tommy Thompson
Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME)
VA Division of Energy
Washington Building
1100 Bank Street, 8th floor
Richmond, VA 23219-3638
Phone: (804) 692-3230
Phone 2: (804) 692-3200
Fax: (804) 692-3237
E-Mail: thomas.thompson@dmme.virginia.gov
Web Site: http://dmme.virginia.gov/contactus.shtml

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Energy Efficiency Rebate Program – Commercial


State: Virginia
Incentive Type: State Rebate Program
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Water Heaters, Lighting, Chillers , Furnaces , Boilers, Heat pumps, Air conditioners, CHP/Cogeneration, Heat recovery, Steam-system upgrades, Compressed air, Programmable Thermostats, Energy Mgmt. Systems/Building Controls, Duct/Air sealing, Building Insulation, Windows, Doors, Motors, Motor-ASDs/VSDs, Custom/Others pending approval
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Geothermal Heat Pumps
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural
Amount: Energy audit: $250
Programmable thermostat: $55
All other technologies: 20% total cost (including equipment and labor)
Maximum Incentive: $4,000 if no energy audit performed; $4,250 if audit performed. Maximum applies to any one energy efficiency improvement or combination of improvements.
Equipment Requirements: Central AC: SEER >= 16, EER >=13 (split system); SEER >=14, EER >=12 (packaged)
Air source heat pump: HSPF >=8.5, EER>=12.5, SEER>=15 (split system); HSPF>=8, EER>=12, SEER>=14 (packaged)
Natural Gas or Propane Furnace: AFUE >= 95
Oil Furnace: AFUE >= 90
Gas, propane, oil hot water boiler: AFUE >= 90
Gas, propane, oil tankless water heater: Energy Factor >= 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90%
High efficiency gas storage tank water heater: Energy Star label (Energy Factor .62 or higher)
Electric heat pump water heater: Energy Star label (or equivalent): Energy Factor >= 2.0
Geothermal heat pumps: Energy Star or equivalent
Insulation: must meet 2009 IECC + amendments
Windows, doors, skylights: must have U factor <= 0.30 and SHGC <= 0.30 and be certified by NFRC.
Programmable thermostat: Energy Star.
Installation Requirements: Energy audit: Must be performed by a RESNET certified contractor.
In general, a manufacturer’s certificate statement is required and equipment must be new and replacing older, less efficient, in-use equipment.
Geothermal heat pumps: contractor must calculate estimated energy benefits.
Insulation: contractor must calculate the expected energy benefits
Commercial lighting upgrades, High Efficiency Motors and Drives replacements, and Compressed air or steam system upgrades: Must consume 20% less energy than older equipment being replaced.
Program Budget: $8 million
Funding Source: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Expiration Date: Funds available until exhausted.
Web Site: http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/ARRA-Public/SEPRebate.shtml

As of November 18, 2009, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) is not accepting additional applications for this rebate. A second round of funding will be announced in the future, sign up at the DMME website for an email alert.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) are providing rebates for a variety of energy efficiency upgrades. In all cases, the energy efficient equipment must replace older, less efficient, in-use equipment. Up to $8 million will become available for rebates for commercial, agricultural, and “light industrial” businesses that invest in energy efficiency improvements, retrofits, or replacement of old inefficient equipment with approved energy efficient equipment in their businesses.

The application is a two-step process. The first step, the reservation, is open now. The second step will be announced at a later date. Businesses MUST first submit a reservation application to be eligible for a rebate. Equipment purchased on or after June 26, 2009 is eligible. In most cases, applicants will be required to submit a Manufacturer’s Certification Statement and in some cases, the contractor will be required to calculate estimated or expected energy savings of the efficiency upgrades. Applicants should read DMME’s website carefully as well as see the Frequently Asked Questions, which provide additional guidance.


Contact:

DMME General Information
Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Virginia Division of Energy
Washington Building
1100 Bank Street, 8th floor
Richmond, VA 23219-3638
Phone: (804) 692-3218
Fax: (804) 692-3238
Web Site: http://www.mme.state.va.us

Virginia – Net Metering


State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Net Metering
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Municipal Solid Waste, Small Hydroelectric, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Institutional
Applicable Utilities: Investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives
System Capacity Limit: 500 kW for non-residential; 10 kW for residential
Aggregate Capacity Limit: 1% of utility’s adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year
Net Excess Generation: Credited to customer’s next bill at retail rate; at end of 12-month billing period, customer may choose to carry excess credit to next period or enter into purchase agreement with utility (at avoided cost)
REC Ownership: Customer owns RECs
Meter Aggregation: Not addressed
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
1999 (subsequently amended)
Date Effective:
7/1/2000
Date Enacted:
2000 (subsequently amended)
Date Effective:
5/25/2000
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
04/08/2009
Virginia’s net-metering law applies to residential generating systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity and non-residential systems up to 500 kW in capacity. Net metering is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the rated generating capacity owned and operated by customer-generators reaches 1% of an electric distribution company’s adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year. Net metering is available to customers of investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives, but not to customers of municipal utilities.

Net metered energy is measured by a meter capable of gauging (but not necessarily displaying) power flow in both directions. Monthly net excess generation (NEG) is carried forward to the next month. At the end of each 12-month period, the customer has the option of carrying forward eligible excess NEG to the next net metering 12-month period or selling the NEG to the utility. The amount of credit to be carried forward to a subsequent net metering period may not exceed the amount of energy purchased during the previous annual period.* In the case of selling the NEG to the utility, the customer must submit a written request to establish a power purchase agreement with the utility prior to the beginning of the net metering period. The investor-owned utility must pay avoided cost.

Systems must comply with the National Electrical Code Article 690, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Standard 1547 (July 2003), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards. Utilities may require (and usually do require) an external, lockable disconnect switch at their expense.

Recently, in April 2009, the Governor signed legislation (HB 2155) making changes to net metering in Virginia. System size caps for net metering were not changed, but HB 2155 allows utilities to approve a higher capacity limit at their discretion. The bill also permits customers that are served on time-of-use tariffs to participate in net metering. Finally, the bill addresses ownership of renewable energy certificates. It specifies that the customer-generators own the RECs associated with their renewable electrical generating facility, and at the time that a customer enters into a power purchase agreement with the utility, the customer has a one-time option to sell RECs to the utility. This provision does not preclude the customer and utility from voluntarily entering into an agreement for the sale and purchase of excess electricity or RECs at any other time. The SCC must issue regulations implementing HB 2155.

* For example, if a customer-generator bought 1,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) from a utility during the first 11 months of the annual period, and then generated 2,000 kWh of excess electricity in the 12th month, the customer could carry forward 1,500 kWh to the following month, and the remaining 500 kWh would be granted to the utility.


Contact:

Ken Jurman
Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Virginia Division of Energy
Washington Building
1100 Bank Street, 8th floor
Richmond, VA 23219-3638
Phone: (804) 692-3218
Fax: (804) 692-3238
Web Site: http://www.mme.state.va.us/de