Energy Matters

PEC works toward energy solutions that emphasize efficiency first, use appropriate technologies for the 21st Century and respect the scenic and historic character of the Piedmont. 

11/20/15: Update on Warrenton-Wheeler Transmission Line Case

For those of you following the Warrenton-Wheeler transmission line, we have some good news. The Hearing Examiner has recommend the “C” route, which was Dominion’s (and our) preferred route, and the route that required the smallest amount of new right-of-way.

The hearing examiner turned down the SCC staff route recommendation, known as “Option A” which would have required a line straight across undeveloped parts of Fauquier County.

Great quote: “This attempt fails because its witness makes assertions unsupported by knowledge or analysis”.

We’ve posted the Examiner’s full report – Part I and Part II.

Background on Warrenton-Wheeler-Gainesville

Dominion and Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) are pursuing a new 230kV transmission line through Prince William County and Fauquier, stating current or future reliability issues associated with the Warrenton Substation in Fauquier County, and the Wheeler and Gainesville Substations in Prince William County, as the reason for the project.

The Installers

After a comprehensive and competitive bidding process, LEAP selected two qualified local solar installers for the 2020 Solarize Piedmont campaign. Once you sign up and have the initial satellite assessment completed by LEAP, one of the two installers will be assigned to make a site visit to gather all the information necessary and provide you with a proposal. If you go to contract, the installer will obtain all necessary permits, order materials and equipment, and schedule your installation.

How It Works – Step by Step Process

How It Works – Step by Step Process

Do you live in Albemarle, Charlottesville, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange or Rappahannock? If yes, Solarize Piedmont is the campaign for you. Here’s information on how to participate: 

1. Sign Up

Get started by filling out our online form to get a free assessment to determine if your home is a good candidate for solar. There is absolutely no commitment until, and if, you sign a contract with an installer.  


2. Receive a Satellite Assessment

After you fill out the form, staff from LEAP will perform a satellite assessment of your property (via Google Earth) to determine its suitability for a solar array. You will be contacted with the results within 3-5 days. Primarily, we’re looking for a good location for the solar panels. Most are installed on roofs, so a generally south-facing roof that isn’t shaded by adjacent trees is perfect. Ground-mounted systems are an option for fields or yards that get plenty of sun.

3. Send in a Copy of Your Electric Bill

If your property is a good candidate for solar, LEAP will ask you to share a copy of your prior year’s electric usage by email or text. Email a screenshot or pdf to info@solarizenova.org. This step helps the installer to determine the optimal size system for your home.

4. Schedule Visit with an Installer

Through a comprehensive and competitive bidding process, we selected two qualified local solar installers for the campaign. Once your electric bill is in hand, we’ll forward your contact information on to one of them. Within three to five days, that installer will contact you to schedule a free site visit to your home to create a proposal tailored for you, your budget, and your home’s energy needs. Sometimes a preliminary proposal is sent using software.

5. Get a Proposal

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Photo by the Local Energy Alliance Program.

After a detailed review of your property and your goals, your contractor will provide a proposal for turnkey services including site visits, permits, materials, installation, and commissioning. Your solar installer can also talk you through financing scenarios.

6. Sign the Proposal

Decide whether the proposal, pricing and financing options are right for you. This may involve a back and forth with the installer to further tailor your options. If you aren’t able to move forward right away, at least you have a better idea of your options!

7. Installation

Two regional, qualified solar installers, Prospect Solar and SunDaySolar, have been selected for the 2019 Solarize Piedmont campaign. Your installer will obtain all necessary permits, order the materials and equipment, and manage the work.

8. Watch Your Meter Run Backward

Once your system is up and running, you use electricity as it is generated and sell back any surplus electricity to the utility. Through “net energy metering,” you get a one-to-one, kilowatt hour-for-kilowatt hour credit on your bill for every unit of electricity produced and put back on the electric grid.

Learn more at http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/detail/40. The electric utility will never pay you for the solar energy, they just credit your account. The credits are good for 12 months, so a sunny summer can be saving money for you in the winter.


If you live in Virginia, but do not live in PEC’s service territory, and would like to know if there are Solarize options near you, please fill out the interest form at www.solarizenova.org/other-localities