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Opower has joined the American Council for Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in support of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s proposed legislation that would help increase access to affordable energy efficiency programs, which would reduce customers’ bills. The measure was introduced as part of the Governor’s 2012 energy package that will be presented to the state Legislature for consideration when it convenes. 

The Governor’s proposal enables the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to approve energy efficiency programs that provide energy savings to low-income and elderly customers. According to Opower, experts from Duke University and Georgia Institute of Technology have estimated that policies to accelerate the deployment of efficiency technologies could save the state of Virginia $1.8 billion in electricity costs by 2020.

Opower co-founder and president Alex Laskey, says, “Opower applauds Governor Bob McDonnell’s support for increased energy efficiency investment in our home state of Virginia. It will grow jobs while helping families and businesses use less energy and save money. This new legislation is an important step forward in promoting energy conservation in Virginia, which is our cleanest and most affordable domestic resource. We look forward to working with Governor McDonnell, Senators Watkins and Puckett, Delegates Cosgrove and Ware and other supporters to encourage the General Assembly to quickly approve this important proposal and help make energy conservation a key part of Virginia’s energy future.”

Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, observes that Virginia is the only state in the United States “to use an especially restrictive test as its primary cost-effectiveness test, and as a result, very few energy efficiency programs are now offered to Virginia consumers. Use of other tests, as proposed by the Governor, will allow Virginia to join the majority of U.S. states that offer consumers a robust set of energy efficiency programs.”

Dale Bryk, director of the Energy and Transportation Program with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) adds: “Energy efficiency continues to be the cheapest resource utilities can use to meet their customers’ needs while improving energy reliability and security. This legislation seeks to enable Virginia to be more competitive with other states in scaling up efficiency, allowing residents to reap important benefits environmentally and financially,”

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