Author: Bri West

VERC Calls for Restructured Electricity Market in Virginia

The Virginia Energy Reform Coalition (VERC) calls for a restructured electricity market designed to benefit Virginians through a competitive retail electricity market while keeping strong customer protections, reliability standards, and all pertinent regulations to avoid a similar scenario as what happened in Texas last month that left millions without power in subzero temperatures for several days. This reformed system would include proper guardrails in which suppliers can compete on price and product innovation, customers can benefit from lower prices and greater choice, and Virginia can benefit from a strong, resilient grid.

The system would continue to be highly regulated and officials would have all of the authority they need to ensure reliability, including proper weatherization of electricity production infrastructure. We are confident that with proper implementation, a comprehensive understanding of extreme weather impacts, and strong consumer protection measures, a restructured energy system will allow Virginians to power their homes at all times at the lowest cost possible.

Letter to VERC Email List:

Letter to VERC Email List:

Last week, two Virginia legislators announced their historic, bipartisan proposal to dramatically reshape the energy system in the Commonwealth, ending the current unfair monopoly control system and opening the way for retail competition and consumer choice and safeguards for low-income families.

Delegates Mark Keam (D-Fairfax, right in the photo) and Lee Ware (R-Powhatan) announced the “Virginia Energy Reform Act” at a joint press conference in Richmond Tuesday. The bill is capturing tons of attention from the media, legislators and advocacy groups.

Please take a minute to thank Dels. Keam and Ware for their leadership! 

— Delegate Keam: [email protected]
— Delegate Ware: [email protected]

In his opening remarks, Del. Keam said the bill would disrupt the current system, where families and businesses have no choice in who provides their electricity, and will create a new paradigm:

“This bill is pro-choice for consumers, pro-competition for marketplace, pro-innovation, pro-technology and above all it’s going to lower the cost and keep Virginia at a place where we’ve always been, which is an innovation leader. “

Del. Ware noted that he’s been a legislator for more than two decades reviewing energy policy in Virginia, and although there’s been pronounced innovation in the energy sector, our regulatory system is holding us back.

“There is a kind of a stasis that occurs pretty naturally when you have what has historically been a monopoly situation. As you look back to last century, that’s what we’ve had. …  We’re not where we could be to take advantage of innovation, consumer choice, I think we need to enhance it a much greater level than we have done and take this chance to unshackle us from the kind of monopoly regulation we’ve had.”

Please take a minute to thank Dels. Keam and Ware for their leadership! 

Thanks for your commitment to energy choice in Virginia!
The VERC team

PS: Be sure to like our Facebook page and follow the conversation on Twitter at #VaEnergyReform.

Members of the Virginia Energy Reform Coalition

Appalachian Voices  | Clean Virginia  |   Earth Stewardship Alliance  |   FreedomWorks  |   Piedmont Environmental Council  |   R Street Institute  |   Reason Foundation  |   Virginia Institute for Public Policy  |   Virginia Poverty Law Center