Support Efforts to Remove Virginia’s Anti-Competitive Solar Policies

Dear Members of the Virginia General Assembly:

As medical and health professionals, and public health advocates, we are writing to ask you to support efforts to remove Virginia’s anti-competitive solar policies that inhibit the growth of distributed solar energy[1] in the state. While Virginia made more progress in solar installations in 2016, the state still ranks well below most other states in the region, with a per capita solar capacity of only 29 watts per person. By comparison, North Carolina’s per capita capacity is 324 watts, New Jersey’s, 236 watts, and Maryland’s, 119 watts.[2]

Removing Virginia’s anti-competitive solar policies would benefit the state’s economy and the health of its residents. In 2017, there were more people working in Virginia’s solar industry than its coal industry.[3] These are good-paying jobs that support local economies throughout the Commonwealth. Improving Virginia’s business environment for distributed solar would create even more local jobs throughout the state. More good-paying jobs will help improve the health outcomes for Virginia residents, a primary concern of our organization. In addition to supporting local jobs, increasing the use of solar and other clean energy means fewer dirty energy sources, resulting in public health benefits such as fewer serious cases of asthma and other respiratory diseases, as well as lower risks of heart attacks and strokes, among other benefits.[4]

In light of these benefits, we ask are asking you to:

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