Arlington, VA

Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have unanimously passed bills that would create a fund to provide low-interest loans for solar energy projects in the Commonwealth.

The bill in the House of Delegates, HB 2191, was sponsored by Arlington’s Del. Adam Ebbin (D). It passed on Monday.

The bill in the state Senate, SB 975, was sponsored by Arlington’s Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D). It passed on Friday.

The bills would create the Voluntary Solar Resource Development Fund, which will distribute loans to help power customers install solar panels and solar water heaters at their homes or businesses. The fund will receive funding from voluntary contributions and grants. Utilities will be required to promote the funds and let customers opt-in for monthly contributions.

“Virginia has some of the highest solar energy potential in the region, but we’re being outpaced by our neighbors like Maryland, which has only two-thirds our population but thirteen times the number of homes powered by solar energy,” Ebbin said in a statement. “This fund will ensure that more Virginians have the opportunity to power their homes with cheap, clean, renewable energy and help our companies stay competitive in the growing market for solar energy.”

Ebbin said Dominion and Appalachian Power, along with the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations, helped to support the bill.

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