Virginia's growing economy will need increasing amounts of energy over the next ten years as more computers, electric appliances, and equipment are placed in use. Virginia will need a broad mix of energy sources to accommodate for this growth. At the same time, Virginia will also need to reduce its energy growth rate through conservation and efficiency measures.
Energy efficiency and conservation offer Virginians the most cost-effective and most readily deployable method to manage its energy future. As Virginia's population, business community, and energy needs continue to grow; energy efficiency and conservation can defer the need for new energy-supply facilities and the associated environmental burdens they place on land, water, and air resources. Energy efficiency is a true "pollution prevention" technique, because at its core is source reduction and improved production efficiency. Improvements to process efficiency result in the decreased use of materials, labor, and wastes. The efficient use of energy results in decreased use of resources, less air pollution, and therefore, cost savings.
The Commonwealth has established a goal of reducing retail electricity consumption by 10% by the year 2020, and the Governor recently formed the Governor’s Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency to develop strategies and recommendations to achieve that goal. According to Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones, the Committee “will provide guidance and recommend tools to help businesses increase efficient use of energy while reducing their energy costs. Energy efficiency is good for business, good for the environment and good for the economy.” The roles of responsibilities of the Committee are outlined in the recommendations section of the 2014 Virginia Energy Plan.
Residential, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors can all play an important role in reducing energy consumption rates by taking steps to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, buildings, facilities and vehicles. Click on the links in the Quick Links section to learn more about DMME programs and projects that will, or have already, contributed to increasing energy efficiency in the Commonwealth, and to learn about other available resources and tools for Virginia consumers and businesses to utilize to become more energy efficient.