Solar Incentives and Financing in Virginia
What type of solar incentives are available?
Several types of incentives can help you go solar.
Virginia passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020. As a results of this act, SRECs will soon come to Virginia.
- Solar owners benefit because the solar they generate is now valuable to utilities. Utilities can avoid paying fines by purchasing “Solar Renewable Energy Credits” (SRECs). Solar owners generate these credits based on how much energy their system produces. VCEA sets aside specific targets for rooftop solar that utilities must meet. This will help more Virginians take control of where their energy comes from.
- SRECs provide an additional way for solar owners to make money. Selling SRECs can help solar owners shorten the time it takes to pay off the cost of going solar. Shortening this time period makes solar a more attractive option for more people.
- VCEA helps low-income families benefit from solar as well. The law sets aside credits utilities must purchase from low-income households.
Virginia legislators enabled Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programming in 2009. While the law technically allowed cities and counties to begin designing and implementing PACE for commercial properties, it was not until the law was clarified in 2015 that municipalities began pursuing PACE programs for their constituents. While various municipalities are in the process of designing a commercial PACE program for their constituents, only Arlington County has finalized its program design and contracted for a program administrator. Traditional commercial properties, such as office buildings, retail, hotels, multi-family buildings of five or more units, as well as non-profit properties, are eligible for commercial PACE financing.