Virginia Businesses Can Select 100% Renewable Energy with Supplier of Choice3 min read
Renewable energy seems to be on everyone’s mind, but until recently, Virginia customers located in Dominion utility territory were unable to select renewable electricity supply due to uncertain state rules and a lack of a renewable energy tariff offered by the local utility. A recent ruling by the Virginia State Corporate Commission (SCC) cleared a path for more non-residential customers to shop around for their energy supply.
Competitive Energy Supply in Virginia
Virginia allows non-residential customers to purchase energy supply from a competitive service provider (CSP), like Constellation, in three different manners:
- Commercial and industrial customers can buy electric supply from any licensed CSP if the customer has a single location with energy usage that is 5 MW or greater. This option requires the customer to provide five years’ notice before returning to utility service.
- Alternatively, if a customer has more than one location and the combined (or aggregated) total demand at that locations meets the 5 MW or greater requirement, the customer may be able to purchase supply from a CSP with Virginia SCC approval. The process of seeking that approval can take months and thousands of dollars, with no guarantee of success. If successful, customers obtain service under this option must also provide five years’ notice before returning to utility service.
- Commercial and industrial companies of all sizes can buy a 100% renewable energy product if Dominion Virginia does not offer such a tariff option. Importantly, customers who procure 100% renewable power under this option do not need to provide five years’ notice before returning to utility service; rather, they will be returned to service under the terms of Dominion’s coordination tariff, after 3 months’ notice or less.
This third competitive buying option closes once Dominion offers a 100% renewable tariff, which we expect to occur soon. Customers who are fortunate enough to enter into a 100% renewable supply agreement during this limited window will be able to continue to receive service under their existing agreement until the end of its term and possibly renewal terms. However, after Dominion’s renewable energy tariff is approved, those customers who have left utility supply for service from a CSP via the 100% renewable option will be required to return to utility supply service once their CSP supply contract has terminated.
The Constellation Offsite Renewables (CORe) Virginia (VA) Product
Constellation has developed the CORe VA product for customers looking to take advantage of the third competitive option. CORe VA is a 100% renewable energy solution sourced from PJM-based assets that meet Virginia’s definition of renewable energy, primarily pumped-storage hydroelectric resources.
Under Virginia law, “one hundred percent renewable” means actual energy supply from renewable resources must offset a business’ energy load on the grid each month. This product provides your business with both energy and renewable energy certificates (RECs) that match your monthly energy usage. Constellation also handles all the quarterly verification, tracking and reporting to meet regulatory requirements associated with a 100% renewable product in Virginia.
Accessing Competitive and 100% Renewable Energy Supply in Virginia
By choosing an energy supplier, you get access to competitive supply with the potential for significant market-based savings relative to current tariff rates. Some customers may see substantial cost savings while simultaneously meeting some of their sustainability goals.
Steps you could take now to understand your options include:
• Complete and send a Dominion letter of authorization document (LOA) to a supplier
- The LOA allows a supplier to request and review your usage
- It will take 3-5 days for the utility to provide your usage information
- Supplier will analyze and provide pricing options
• Review your pricing and product offers
- You should have a complete understanding of how your supplier meets the Virginia definition for 100% renewable energy supply, including the monthly balancing and quarterly reporting requirements
• Choose your supplier and sign contracts
- There may be up to a 60-day waiting period for your account to be enrolled
- Supplier contracts will differ, understanding how your supplier will handle situations can make a big difference
It’s important to have the right energy supplier to help you navigate the renewable supply process and ensure your organization is on the right path to create tangible benefits from your overall energy strategy. Take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts, in order in order to capture the benefits of the limited competitive market in Virginia through 100% renewable supply, such as meeting your business’ sustainability goals. To connect with a sales representative regarding this solution, visit our website.