Solar panels on the rooftop on a home in a new housing project in Sacramento. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

A brief item in the Dec. 7 Economy & Business Digest noted that California just became the first state to require that new homes be solar-powered, starting in 2020. While this news makes me happy, I am trying to cope with a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out).

As a longtime resident of Northern Virginia, I am proud of our historical contribution to leadership for the nation, including the bold vision of Thomas Jefferson and political genius of James Madison. As I see the progress made in California, I am appalled to see the great state of Virginia falling further behind our neighbors in Maryland and the District in the thriving solar industry. Virginia must remove barriers to net metering, meter aggregation and community solar that prevent access to solar energy, particularly for lower-income residents. These barriers remove economic incentives for investment in solar. Virginians want the freedom to build a nest beneath the “nest egg” of low utility costs through solar panels.

Mary McKenna, Lorton