Ivy Main

Ivy Main

Ivy Main is a lawyer and a longtime volunteer with the Sierra Club's Virginia chapter. A former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee, she is currently the Sierra Club's renewable energy chairperson. Her opinions are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of any organization.


Dominion’s electricity bills are keeping customers in the dark

By: - March 16, 2023

A seemingly simple question came across my desk a few weeks ago: What does Dominion Energy Virginia charge residents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)? Given how frequently I write about Dominion, I was embarrassed not to have a quick answer. In my own defense, though, Dominion makes it hard to find out. And when you do find […]


A dog, a food fight and other energy highlights from the 2023 General Assembly session

By: - March 2, 2023

For followers of Virginia energy policy, 2023 will be remembered as the year Dominion Energy lost its stranglehold on the General Assembly. The utility’s all-out campaign to boost its return on equity earned it little more than crumbs. By contrast, a bill to return authority over rates to the State Corporation Commission garnered overwhelming support.  […]


Building more Virginia data centers requires increased pollution controls

By: - February 15, 2023

In 2019, with Northern Virginia’s data center boom well underway, I worked with the Sierra Club to provide comments to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on a proposed major source air permit for a data center.  We urged that the data center, owned by Digital Realty, be required to minimize its reliance on highly-polluting, […]


The gas stove culture wars come to Virginia

By: - February 7, 2023

Gas stoves have been in the headlines a lot recently. On the heels of a study quantifying their contribution to childhood asthma, Consumer Product Safety Commission member Rich Trumka, Jr. issued a tweet suggesting the agency might take them off the market, a comment he later walked back.  Too late: cue the outrage from the […]


These bills could bring more clean energy to your community

By: - January 26, 2023

Solar schools, climate resiliency, energy efficiency: Local governments are now involved in energy planning – whether they feel ready for it or not. Some localities have adopted climate goals that require them to look for ways to lower carbon emissions; others just want to save money on high energy bills. Virginia has chipped away at […]


Attacks on Virginia’s climate laws are front and center at the General Assembly

By: - January 18, 2023

Every year I do a round-up of climate and energy bills at the start of the General Assembly session. This year, as expected, Republicans continue their assault on the hallmark legislation passed in 2020 and 2021 committing Virginia to a zero-carbon economy by 2050. In addition, this year features the usual assortment of bills doing […]


Dominion Energy’s Climate Report confirms the future of power is renewable

By: - January 6, 2023

When the Virginia General Assembly convenes next week for the 2023 session, Republicans will once again try to undo the commonwealth’s framework for a transition to renewable energy. Led by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, they will attack Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) and continue seeking ways […]


Virginia has a data center problem

By: - December 9, 2022

Actually, Virginia has several data center problems. One seems like a good problem to have, at least if you are a locality looking to attract business. Data centers pay a lot of local taxes while requiring little in the way of local services, and the steady buildout has supported thousands of construction jobs across the […]


Shared solar launches in Virginia but still faces an uphill battle

By: - November 29, 2022

After years of wrangling, Virginia finally allows certain customers of Dominion Energy Virginia to buy solar energy from independent providers of shared solar, also known as community solar. Don’t applaud yet, though. Dominion has used the rulemaking process and its control over project interconnection to create hurdles for shared solar that lawmakers never anticipated. High […]


Washington Gas loves its customers too much for their own good

By: - October 28, 2022

Washington Gas has been emailing its Virginia customers this month to offer them rebates if they buy new gas appliances, including home heating equipment (up to $700) and water heaters (up to $400). What the message doesn’t say is that this is a terrible deal. Customers will be able to get far bigger incentives if […]


You call that an energy plan?

By: - October 18, 2022

Governor Glenn Youngkin issued a press release on October 3 presenting what he says is his energy plan. Accompanying the press release was 26 pages labeled “2022 Virginia Energy Plan,” but that can’t be what he’s referring to. I mean, the Virginia Code is pretty specific about what makes up an energy plan, and this […]


Will Governor Youngkin’s energy plan look anything like what the law requires?

By: - September 23, 2022

What happens when state law requires an anti-clean energy governor to draw up a plan for a zero-carbon energy economy? We’re about to find out. Virginia gives a new governor until Oct. 1 of his first year in office to write a plan “identifying actions over a 10-year period consistent with the goal of the […]