When it comes to energy efficiency, Virginia’s policymakers could do more, a lot more. The commonwealth came in 37th place on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) most recent state scorecard, which ranks states by energy efficiency policies.
The scorecard follows up on a report the group published in 2008, stating that Virginia could meet 31 percent of projected demand by 2025 with “cost-effective” energy efficiency initiatives.
The report defines cost-effective measures as those that would cost less to implement than what the average resident currently pays for electricity. In Virginia, that is slightly over 10 cents per kilowatt hour meaning that for less than 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, Virginia could avoid 31 percent of projected electricity demand. In fact, 85 percent of the recommendations would cost less than eight cents per kilowatt hour.
Contrasting what is possible with what would have a chance in the Virginia legislature, the report also looked at a less aggressive option of 19 percent efficiency by 2025. The costs for these measures would all be less than 8 cents per kilowatt hour and many would be under three cents — or less than one-third of what it would cost to fill that gap by burning coal and natural gas.