The Growing Consensus: Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy the Path to Economic Growth for All of Virginia

It is increasingly evident to industry observers and community leaders that there is a clear path for Virginia to reduce carbon pollution while also lowering energy costs and creating jobs.

On a panel of state leaders and energy analysts, including representatives of Dominion Power, the Virginia Attorney General's office, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Virginia Department of Natural Resources, at the annual Environment Virginia Symposium last week in Lexington ,Virginia, there was agreement that not only is the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution and combat climate change well in reach for Virginia, but it could also help Virginians realize net savings on their energy bills.

In another sign of the consensus that is emerging around this issue, a representative of the Virginia Attorney General highlighted former FERC Chairman's statement that "clean energy is right for Virginia" and would result in lower energy prices.

Across the state, Virginians agree that Virginia's untapped energy efficiency reserves are not only the Commonwealth's best opportunity for meeting (and exceeding) its Clean Power Plan target: they're the state's best chance to finally lower its energy costs.

The imperative to take action is not just good economic sense: on the other side of the Shenandoahs this week in Richmond, a panel of energy and environmental experts, academics, and students joined more than 50 community members to discuss how carbon pollution is worsening the health and economic well-being of communities across the state, and how renewable energy and energy efficiency will improve our health and economy.

Meanwhile, a new NRDC report, released this week, found that climate change and its effects--extreme weather and increases in electricity costs--disproportionately impact low income Americans.

This growing consensus about the consequences of inaction on one hand and the benefits of taking action on the other underscores the opportunity Virginia's leaders have to move toward a clean energy future that both protects our communities and grows our economy.