This week marks the Virginia General Assembly’s hearing of two important pieces of renewable energy legislation that, if passed, would create local jobs, boost the economy, save families money on electricity costs, reduce pollution, and strengthen Virginia’s leadership role in an equitable transition to clean energy.
The House Appropriations Committee will consider a budget amendment to direct two million dollars to the Department of Education for paid on-the-job training in rooftop solar and residential energy efficiency. This job training would help bridge the gap between technical rooftop solar and residential energy efficiency accreditation programs, which are already supported by the state of Virginia, and permanent job placements for those who have completed these accreditation programs. The funding has the potential to place more than 500 workers into permanent jobs in these growing industries, with a projected hourly rate two to ten dollars greater than they could otherwise earn without the training.
Complementary legislation, H.B.2741, will be considered by the House Commerce & Labor Energy Subcommittee #3 chaired by Delegate O’Quinn. The Legislation’s Chief Patron, Delegate Aird of the 63rd District and co-patron, Delegate Morefield of the 3rd District, will present H.B. 2741, which would establish a Clean Energy Advisory Board to develop and implement a low-tomoderate income (LMI) solar loan and rebate pilot program. The Clean Energy Advisory Board will work with existing Virginia financing authorities, agencies, financial institutions and the administration to access capital to assist in the financing and deployment of owner-occupied rooftop solar for LMI households. The LMI Solar Loan and Rebate Pilot Program will begin accepting applications in 2020.
Together, the on-the-job training budget amendment and the LMI Solar Loan and Rebate Pilot Program legislation will ensure all Virginians can enjoy the benefits of the clean energy transition, including reduced electricity bills, good jobs that can’t be outsourced, more resilient communities, and a cleaner environment.
“As the largest installer of residential and rooftop solar in Virginia, Sigora has seen the positive impacts of solar on everyday Virginians’ lives. We are calling on our legislators to remove barriers and prioritize the development of programming to expand access to solar to those Virginians most in need,” said Karla Loeb, vice president of policy & development for Sigora Solar. “It’s time for Virginia to take a leadership role and prioritize the reduction of energy insecurity and costly energy bills by expanding rooftop solar deployment and supporting the creation of more local clean energy jobs.”
About Sigora Solar
With headquarters in Charlottesville, Sigora Solar is the largest solar provider in the Virginia, expanding rapidly across the mid-Atlantic and Mid-west. Founded in 2011, the privately-owned company ranks as one of Inc. 500’s fastest growing companies. Sigora Solar is the largest solar company in Virginia and rapidly growing in North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, and with current operations in DC and Maryland. Sigora Solar partners with third party financiers to ensure most Virginians can go solar with little-to-no upfront costs. Sigora mission is to help customers reduce their energy bills, sustain the quality of the environment, and contribute positively to the advancement of the clean energy economy. For more information, visit www.sigorasolar.com.