Virginia Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Virginia Rebates and Incentives Summary

VirginiaThe Commonwealth of Virginia may be for lovers—but its incentives for clean energy like photovoltaics (PVs) aren’t showing the love that its neighboring states are giving to renewables.

Virginia is home to many prominent government institutions, including the Marine Corp and FBI training grounds in Quantico, Langley Air Force Base, the CIA and the Department of Defense. As such, federal monies have likely gone into energy efficiency retrofits and PV add-ons to some of these buildings.

The state’s southern location and diverse geography are fostering its growing vintner industry, conditions that also make Virginia a great state for installing solar power and solar thermal. Two-thirds of the state gets an average of nearly 5 kilowatt hours (kWh) per square meter of sunlight per day, with the rest getting slightly less.

The state has a voluntary renewable energy goal of supplying 15 percent of the state’s electric generating capacity in 2007 with renewables by 2025. The voluntary nature of the goal and the lower ambitions in terms of percentage and timeline place Virginia behind many states that have passed renewable energy standards into law. A majority of such states have enacted standards requiring utilities to source at least 25 percent of their electric generation from renewables by 2025 and some, like Colorado, Hawaii, and California, have passed even higher standards. It remains to be seen whether or not Virginia’s voluntary approach to encourage renewable energy growth will yield positive results.

The state has some incentives to help residents become energy independent by converting to PV or other renewables. Among the incentives offered to residents are property tax incentives, property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, a performance-based incentive offered by the Tennessee Valley Authority, and net metering. In addition, local governments, like Arlington County offer additional renewable incentives. Arlington County, which neighbors Washington, D.C., offers a green-building incentive for developers of buildings that achieve LEED certification.

The state also incentivizes its residents to become more energy efficient through sales tax credits and rebates for energy-efficient appliances. Rebates are offered both through the state and utilities operating in the state.

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Appalachian Power (Electric)- Residential Energy Efficiency Programs

Summary

On June 24, 2015 the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved various rate-payer funding energy efficiency programs for residential Appalachian Power customers in Virginia. Appalachian Power through its Take Charge VA program offers various incentives to its customers in Virginia to reduce their energy usage.

Home Performance Program: Residential customers can schedule for an energy assessment for their homes at a subsidized amount. Customers receive rebates ranging from $50 to $250 depending on the total energy saved due to the energy audit. During the energy assessment, the contractor

Arlington County - Green Building Incentive Program

Summary

Consistent with Section 15.5.7.A.1 of the Arlington County, Virginia, Zoning Ordinance, the program allows up to 0.50 FAR for residential and office buildings who achieve LEED Silver or higher using LEED Version 4. Commercial office buildings earning bonus density must also agree to earn ENERGY STAR building certification within four years of occupancy. An additional 0.025 FAR is available for achieving one of eight Arlington priority credits (credit will be given for up to two priority credits). Projects designed and constructed to achieve at least LEED Gold certification plus two Arlington

Arlington County- Home Energy Rebates

Summary

Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy program offers each household/address in Arlington county up to $575 in rebates towards increasing energy efficiency of the home. Rebates are available for water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, heat-pumps, and for air sealing/insulation. Incentives are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis until the funds are depleted. 

Eligibility

Only residents of Arlington county, who are upgrading an existing home are eligible for the rebate. The upgrades must have occurred on or after May 4, 2016. 

Program Description 

The work must already be

Building Energy Code

Summary

NOTE: Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP web sites.

The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) is a statewide minimum requirement that local jurisdictions cannot amend. The code is applicable to all new buildings in the commonwealth. The Board of Housing and Community Development (a Governor-appointed board) has authority to adopt changes to the USBC. The

Charlottesville Gas - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Summary

Charlottesville Gas offers rebates to residential customers for purchasing and installing specified energy efficient equipment. Rebates and utility bill credits of up to $100 are available for installing new, energy efficient natural gas water heaters and programmable thermostats. Only customers which previously did not have natural gas water heating are eligible for the natural gas water heating rebate. Programmable thermostats must be new and energy-saver models. Only residences which receive natural gas from Charlottesville Gas are eligible for these rebates. Some installation requirements

City of Danville - Net Metering

Summary

For a renewable fuel generator with a capacity of 25 kilowatts (kW) or less, a notification form shall be submitted at least 30 days prior to the date the customer intends to interconnect their renewable fuel generator to the Utility's facilities. Renewable fuel generators with capacity over 25 kW are required to submit forms no later than 60 days prior to planned interconnection. The Utility will review and determine whether the requirements for Interconnection have been met. More information on this process may be found in the Danville Utility Commission's Electric Rate Schedule and Riders

City of Danville Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Summary

The City of Danville Utilities offers a variety of rebates to all electric residential customers served by the department. Rebates are available for washers, refrigerators, water heaters, heat pump water heaters, air source heat pumps, central air conditioners, attic insulation and HVAC tune-ups. Rebates for attic insulation and central air conditioners vary based upon the efficiency rating of installed equipment. Washers and refrigerators must be Energy Star certified in order to qualify for rebates. View the program web site or contact Danville Utilities for various program requirements.

Columbia Gas of Virginia - Home Savings Rebate Program

Summary

Columbia Gas of Virginia offers rebates to residential customers for the purchase and installation of energy efficient appliances and equipment. Furnaces, windows, and insulation are available for cash rebates. All efficiency and performance requirements must be met in order to receive rebate. Some installation requirements also apply. All application and information forms are available on the program web site. Mail-in rebate applications should be sent to the address listed below. Contact Columbia Gas of Virginia for further information on this program.

Commercial Solar Property Tax Exemption

Summary

NOTE: House Bill 1305 enacted in March 2016 modifies the property tax exemption or solar facilities by creating a sunset provision for tax exemption for certain facilities, and increasing the eligibility of solar facilities greater than 20 MW to qualify for 80% property tax exemption. These changes will be effective starting January 1, 2017.  

Beginning January 1, 2015 and until December 31, 2016 all commercial solar facilities under 20 MW and certified with either a local building authority or the Department of Environmental Quality are exempt from state and local taxes. HB 1305 signed into

Commonwealth's Energy Leasing Program

Summary

Lease financing administered by the Department of Treasury provides funding for energy efficiency projects in state facilities operated by state agencies, authorities and institutions of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Energy Leasing Program allows for the purchase of services and equipment required to develop, design, and install an energy efficiency project. Agencies can finance energy projects at a minimum of $100,000 and will make repayments over 12 or 15 year terms.

The funds can be used to finance projects with relevant energy efficient technology, such as lighting and motor

Dominion Virginia Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Summary

Dominion Virginia Power provides a number of rebates to customers for the installation of energy efficient equipment and measures. 

The Home Energy Check Up program provides an on-site analysis of energy use, a custom report with upgrade recommendations, financial incentives that cover approved measures, access to prequalified contractors and equipment installation at the convenience of the customer. Measures eligible for incentive payments include pipe insulation, tank wraps, water heater controls, CFL bulbs, HVAC filter replacements, door weatherization, and smart strips. Incentive levels

Energy Project and Equipment Financing

Summary

The Virginia Resources Authority (VRA) was created in 1984 and provides financial assistance to local governments in Virginia for a variety of projects, including energy and energy conservation projects. In March 2011, H.B. 2389 added "renewable energy" to the list of eligible projects (though it may have already been technically eligible under the "energy" category). VRA offers several financing options, including the Virginia Pooled Financing Program, Revolving Loan Funds, and Term Financing. Interested entities should use the contact form available on the VRA web site in order to discuss

Green Jobs Tax Credit

Summary

NOTE: This tax credit expired at the end of 2015. This summary here is for information purpose only. 

In April 2010, Virginia enacted the green jobs tax credit. For every green job created with a yearly salary of $50,000 or more, the company will earn a $500 income tax credit for five years. The Office of Commerce and Trade will develop a full list of jobs eligible to qualify for the tax credit. Companies will be allowed tax credits for up to 350 green jobs created. If the taxpayer does not have enough tax liability to take the full credit, it may be carried forward for up to 5 years. The

Income Tax Deduction for Energy-Efficient Products

Summary

Taxpayers in Virginia may deduct from their taxable personal income an amount equal to 20% of the sales taxes paid for certain energy efficient equipment. The incentive is capped at $500. This incentive is available for the following equipment types:

  • ENERGY STAR clothes washers
  • ENERGY STAR room air conditioners
  • ENERGY STAR dishwashers
  • ENERGY STAR standard size refrigerators
  • Any fuel cell that generates electricity using an electrochemical process, has an electricity-only generation efficiency greater than 35 percent, and has a generating capacity of at least two kilowatts

Interconnection Standards

Summary

Virginia has two interconnection standards: one for net-metered systems and one for systems that are not net-metered.

Interconnection for Net-Metered Systems

Customer-generators that net meter must comply with the interconnection rules within the regulations governing net metering (20 VAC 5-315-40). These rules apply to residential customers with generation facilities up to 20 kW in capacity and non-residential systems up to 1,000 kW in capacity. Utilities that have already enrolled 1% of their peak load for the previous year are not required to allow additional customers to net meter. More

Local Option - Clean Energy Financing

Summary

NOTE: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not

Local Option - Property Tax Assessment for Energy Efficient Buildings

Summary

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

Local Option - Residential Property Tax Exemption for Solar

Summary

The State of Virginia provides the option for any county, city or town to exempt or partially exempt solar energy equipment and recycling equipment from local property taxes.  This status is targeted toward non-commercial participants; commercial entities are fully exempt from state and local taxes under Commercial Property Tax exemption for Solar.

The solar equipment and installation has to be inspected and certified by the local building department or the Department of Environmental Quality to provide the value of the system for the purpose of determining tax credit.

The statute

Local Option- Renewable Energy Machinery and Tools Property Tax Exemption

Summary

HB 1297 enacted in March 2015 provides option for local governing body of any county, city, or town to impose a different property tax on renewable energy generating machinery and tools than other normal use machinery. The rate of property tax imposed must not exceed that is applicable to the general class of machinery and tools. 

Renewable energy means energy derived from sunlight, wind, falling water, biomass, sustainable or otherwise (definitions liberally constructed), energy from waste, landfill gas, municipal solid waste, wave motion, tides, or geothermal power and does not include energy

Mandatory Utility Green Power Option

Summary

Virginia passed legislation (S.B. 1416) in April 2007 that includes a provision that electricity customers in Virginia have the option to purchase 100% renewable energy from their utility. If their utility does not offer a program that meets the 100% renewable energy requirement, its customers will be permitted to purchase green power from any licensed retail supplier. For information about the green power utilities and suppliers in Virginia, see the Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Green Power Network website.

Richmond Department of Public Utilities (Gas) - Energy Conservation Tax Credits

Summary

NOTE: This program has changed from offering rebates to offering incentives as tax incentives. 

City of Richmond natural gas customers are eligible for tax credit for purchase of for efficiency natural gas technologies as part of the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Conservation Program. Tax Credits to a maximum amount as specified above are available for high efficiency furnaces, boilers, electric heat pump water heater, and biomass stoves.  

Biomass stoves must use renewable plant derived fuel, including agricultural crops, trees, wood, wood waste, residues, grasses, and fibers.  

Please

Rockingham County - Small Wind Ordinance

Summary

In October 2004, the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning ordinance for small wind energy systems, the first of its kind in Virginia. Students at James Madison University drafted the original ordinance with guidance from members of the Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative (VWEC) and assistance from members of Rockingham County's planning board.

Although net metering is not required, the ordinance complements the state's net-metering regulations and requires compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code, FAA Regulations, National Electrical Code, and Virginia

Sales Tax Exemption for Energy-Efficient Products (Sales Tax Holiday)

Summary

NOTE: Three day Sale Tax holiday for the year 2016 is scheduled to begin on Friday, August 5 at 12 am and end on Sunday, August 7 at 11:59 pm.  

Virginia allows a three-day sales tax* exemption for dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, light bulb, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostat and refrigerators that meet federal ENERGY STAR standards. Certain EPA "Watersense" products may also qualify

To qualify for the incentive, the products must

  • Meet or exceed the federal ENERGY STAR or EPA’s Watersense standard
  • Be $2,500 or less per product
  • Be purchased

Solar Easements

Summary

Virginia's solar easement law is similar to those in effect in other states. The Virginia Solar Easements Act of 1978 allows property owners to create binding solar easements for the purpose of protecting and maintaining proper access to sunlight. Easements must be executed in writing and must include:

  • The vertical and horizontal angles, expressed in degrees, at which the solar easement extends over the real property subject to the solar easement;
  • Any terms or conditions or both under which the solar easement is granted or will be terminated; and
  • Any provisions for compensation of

Solar Rights

Summary

According to state law, effective July 1, 2008, community associations in Virginia generally may not prohibit a homeowner from installing or using a solar energy collection device on their property. A community association may, however, establish reasonable restrictions concerning the size, place, manner of placement of individual solar devices or restrict the installation of solar devices on common areas within the development served by the community association. This law does not affect covenants that were in effect prior to July 1, 2008.

In the context of this law, a solar energy device

TVA - Mid-Sized Renewable Standard Offer Program

Summary


The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) now compliments the small generation Green Power Providers Program by providing incentives for mid-sized renewable energy generators between 50kW and 20MW to enter into long term price contracts. The goal for total production from all participants is 100MW, with no more than 50MW from any one renewable technology. The Renewable Standard Offer program also includes Solar Solution Initiative program that offers additional financial incentives for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) projects. 

TVA bases the standard offer for customer generators off of a seasonal

TVA - Solar Solutions Initiative

Summary

Solar Solutions Initiative (SSI) is a pilot program that offers additional financial incentives for Solar PV systems participating in the Renewable Standard Offer program. Applications for new projects for the year 2015 will open on January 2, 2015. Participants applying for the Solar Solutions Incentive program are required to apply through the Renewable Standard Offer program.

The program offers performance based incentive of $0.04/kWh for the first 10 years after the project is operational. This incentive is additional to the seasonal and time-of-day price for electricity offered through the

VirginiaSAVES Green Community Loan Program

Summary

The VirginiaSAVES Green Community Program provides low cost financing to private commercial and industrial, non-profits, and local governments to fund a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the State. The program is funded through Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECB), whose use was authorized for by Governor McAuliffe through his executive order in 2014. The program is administered by CleanSource Capital, LLC under the guidance of Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME).

Interested applicants must submit a summary worksheet that describes the

Voluntary Solar Resource Development Fund

Summary

In April 2011, the Virginia legislature created the Voluntary Solar Resource Development Fund. The fund is administered by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). All utilities are required to provide a link on their web site to the DMME web site, where customers can make contributions to the fund. Utilities must also provide opportunities for customers to donate through their paper newsletters, emails or bills.

The fund will be used to provide loans for residential, commercial, or nonprofit solar energy projects. Qualifying solar energy projects cannot be acquired, installed

Washington Gas - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Summary

Washington Gas provides rebates to its residential customers for purchase of energy efficient equipment and measures in the home. Rebates are limited to natural gas furnaces and WiFi-Enabled thermostat.  Homes must receive natural gas service from Washington Gas in order to be eligible for the program. All rebate applications are available on the program website. Visit the program website for more information on equipment requirements and program procedures.