solar panels virginia



Virginia is one of those lovely eastern states where you might wake up in the mountains then drive down to go to bed by the sea. You can begin spring by attending the Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, vacation in the summer at Virginia Beach, and see the splendor of changing leaves all along Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Valley. And throughout the year, you can enjoy visiting all the many historical sites that dot the Virginia landscape.

Virginia really is divided into several regions. There is the DelMarVa area where Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia converge at the Chesapeake Bay. Northern Virginia, or NOVA is cosmopolitan, with a higher cost of living and a faster pace than one might associate with the South. In fact, much of NOVA provides the workforce for Washington DC. There is the Shenandoah Valley, arguably one of the most beautiful places in the country. The Appalachian Trail snakes through the Blue Ridge Mountains that border the Valley. Along Skyline Drive around Luray are caverns to explore and even a parade float museum. Virginia Beach is one of the most popular tourist spots on the Eastern Seaboard. Richmond is the capital and the home of some of the loveliest old homes in the state. The rest of Virginia is the South as we know it, full of friendly people, breathtaking landscapes, and small towns and rural farms.

Like in any other state, the residents of Virginia are concerned with the cost of living. Power is a part of that and many people are turning to solar panels to offset the high price of electricity. And while Virginia does have rainy days, more days are sunny than not. Plus, there are some incentives in Virginia to use solar panels.

In April of 2007, the state legislature passed State Bill 1416, the Voluntary Renewable Energy Portfolio Goal. The goal is a 12% conversion to clean energy sources by 2022. This bill created the Renewable Portfolio Standard objectives and solar power earns double credit. Virginia also allows “net metering.” Net metering allows the consumer to not only reduce their electric bill but to possibly get a check back from the power company. When you put solar panels on your home or business you can connect a monitor to your power meter. Whenever the solar panels provide all the energy you use, the power meter actually runs backward. From month to month, any time you've made more energy than you've bought, the discount applies to the next month. At end of year, you might even get a small rebate. Virginia also provides a tax rebate to businesses and homes for installing solar panels.

While these incentives are not as forward thinking as some states offer, they are a beginning. Even in Virginia, solar panels increase the value of a home. And a reduced power bill is a nice plus, especially as rates have increased in the last few years. Solar panels are definitely part of Virginia's solution to the energy conundrum.


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