The net metering incentives in Virginia is not that straight and simple. There are wrinkles in the incentives.
- Type of renewable sources qualify for net metering covers a whole range of sources, i.e. solar thermal electric, PV, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, muni solid waste, tidal and wave energy.
- It applies not only for residential but also institutional, commercial, non-profit, state and local government.
- The limit on size: for residential is 10 kW (kilowatts) and non-residential up to 500 kW.
- Excess is credited to the following month's bill at retail rate; or either granted annually or credited the following month. Via DSIRE.
For example, if a customer-generator bought 1,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) from a utility during the first 11 months of the annual period, and then generated 2,000 kWh of excess electricity in the 12th month, the customer could carry forward 1,500 kWh to the following month, and the remaining 500 kWh would be granted to the utility.
- Under legislation enacted in 2007 (HB 2708 of 2006), the net-metered customer required to enter a power purchase agreements (PPA).
- Only customers of investors-owned (public co. like Dominion Power), and cooperatives eligible to apply for net meter but not municipal utilities.
This is where it gets interesting. Unlike DC and MD, the net-metered energy is available on first-come first-served basis until "..[t]he rated generating capacity owned and operated by customer-generators reaches 1% of an electric distribution company's adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year."
Incentive and Rebate Programs
1) Arlington County Green Building Incentive to encourage the development of enviromentally-friendly buildings in Arlington based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
2) Property tax exemption for passive solar space heat, passive solar heat, solar water heat, solar thermal electric and photovoltaics (PV). We pay taxes for our property that includes cars. Here is how it works. Each locality allows to exempt or partially exempt solar energy equipment or recycling equipment from 'property tax.'
The following cities in N.Va jurisdiction that offers the tax exemption: Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Loudoun, Prince William. (Arlington does not offer this?).
3) Property tax asssessments which allow localities to assess the property of tax of energy-efficient buildings at a reduced rate.
Virginia defines energy efficient building as:
"...any building that exceeds the energy efficiency standards of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code by 30%; meets performance standards of the Green Globes Green Building Rating System, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) System or the EarthCraft House Program; or qualifies as an Energy Star home under federal Energy Star criteria."
The reduced rate tax assessments applied to: Residential, non-residential, industrial, low-income residential, agricultural and institutional.
4) 100% Sales tax exemption for energy-efficient products (must meet Energy Star reqs) on products up to $2,500. This tax exemption is good until 7/1/2012. Eligible technologies include: washer/dryer, dishwasher, refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, ceiling fans, AC, programmable thermostats.
For other incentives here.
Having all kinds of incentive, rebate programs is one thing. Reaching the tipping point is another story. You'll be surprised to know how many of the professionals working the real estate industry have little or some knowledge to a degree about energy-efficiency techniques or conservation.
So, in a way the $4+ gas and Dominion Power 18% rate increase is good, because it forces people to make living style adjustments.
Cross-posted at Urban Trekker