Part 15, State Solar Series: Rising Electricity Costs Push Virginia Toward Solar

Virginia is encouraging solar adoption to combat rising electricity rates.Virginia is encouraging solar adoption to combat rising electricity rates.

This state is encouraging utility companies and homebuyers to support solar as a response to rising electricity costs—a move that could impact builders’ bottom line.

TecHome Builder’s solar series takes it state-by-state to provide you with a better grasp on the current solar market, including current laws and advice from builders on how to overcome obstacles.

Part 15 of our series heads to Virginia, where we speak to luxury custom homebuilder Jeffrey Ainslie of the Virginia Beach-based Ainslie Group, who despite challenges in the current market, sees a promising future for solar.

“Do your homework, and get educated on what technologies and new products are currently available, as the ROI for clients is much more attractive today than it was five-to-ten years ago,” says Ainslie. 

However, he says, at this point, most clients aren’t requesting solar. But that’s not stopping the Ainslie Group from discussing the logistics and potential savings of a solar-equipped home with every client. The company comes in during the design phase of each project to discuss placement and ultimately optimize solar performance.

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State Energy Markets 

Virginia has passed voluntary solar legislation to encourage builders to include solar.
Virginia has passed voluntary solar legislation to encourage builders to include solar.

Energy Markets, State Legislation


The good news for Ainsle and other builders focused on energy efficiency is that Virginia’s energy market, which is known as a major producer of coal and nuclear power, is looking to improve its renewable energy portfolio over the next decade.

Virginia passed the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of replacing 15 percent of the state’s 2007 conventional electricity capacity with renewable technologies by 2025. The RPS goal increases depending on the amount of electricity sold over the last four-year period. For example, the current RPS standard requires the state to supplement four percent of conventional electricity sales from 2011 through 2015 using green tech. The next standard mandates seven percent of those sales between 2017 and 2021.

This ambitious goal has pushed the state to roll out a lucrative monthly incentive that builders can use to market a cost-effective solar standard.

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State Energy Markets 

About The Author

Michael Black is a staff writer and content coordinator at TecHome Builder. He has a particular interest in new solar developments and smart energy systems and is always looking for the next smart home trend to cover. As the youngest member of the TecHome team, Michael brings a passion that keeps the team energized. He also is instrumental in leading our social media efforts.

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