We’re happy to welcome the Virginia Energy Reform Coalition (VERC) to the campaign for more competitive retail electricity markets by ending utility’s traditional monopolies over both the production and delivery of electricity. Jim Presswood and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced the launch of VERC in Richmond on May 7.
Presswood, Executive Director of the Earth Stewardship Alliance, said modernizing reforms the coalition is calling for would “unleash a wave of innovation through Virginia’s electricity system that reduces pollution, lowers energy bills, and gives consumers more choices.”
The nonpartisan coalition will advocate for consumer choice and more competitive markets in the Commonwealth, including advocating for the creation of:
Competitive retail electricity market
Independent grid operator
Streamlined and uniform interconnection standards
Fully integrated grids, markets, and operations
Phase out of wholesale capacity markets
“The coalition’s agenda strikes a fair-minded balance between customer empowerment and customer protection, both of which are things Virginia energy policy has needed more of for years,” said Travis Kavulla, Director of Energy Policy at R Street Institute.
Technology is hastening the transformation of the outdated traditional monopoly model of the utility that owns both the generation and delivery of electricity by giving consumers more choices and greater control over their daily energy use. While monopoly utilities have resisted the shift away from capacity markets and a government-guaranteed rate of return, the transition to more competitive retail markets - what’s known as the “Texas model” is being implemented in states across the country.
“Moving from Virginia’s 100+ year old government-regulated electricity market to a 21st-century free market will finally put families and businesses in control of their electricity buying decisions. Shrinking the control of the government-imposed electricity monopoly means more citizens’ control, more choices, more innovation and lower prices,” said Cuccinelli, Director of the Regulatory Action Center of FreedomWorks Foundation.
Watch this space for more updates about the campaign for competition and consumer choice in Virginia.