Climate Change & Energy
- Visit the Virtual Green Building Resource Center
The Green Building Resource Center (GBRC) is one of the City's latest Eco-City Alexandria initiatives, offering citizens and business owners information on how to reduce energy and water consumption and operating costs by offering practical solutions to design, build and maintain their spaces in an eco-friendly manner. We welcome all citizens to visit the site periodically for new technical articles, event updates, and local case studies at http://www.alexandriava.gov/gbrc.
City Council Approves Energy and Climate Change Action Plan
The City of Alexandria released its draft Energy and Climate Change Action Plan 2012 – 2020 (ECCAP) on March 14, 2011. The plan builds on the existing Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP) by providing information on policies and measures that the City is already undertaking, as well as possible new short-term and medium-term measures to achieve the EAP’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 10% by 2012, 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Moreover, it identifies measures for adapting to the physical impacts of climate change. The plan was approved by City Council at its Public Hearing on May 14th.
Alexandria's Climate Change Initiatives
In February 2005, Mayor Euille endorsed and signed the 2005 U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement along with 278 other mayors from 43 states representing a total population of 48.5 million citizens. This agreement committed Alexandria to meet or exceed the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas reduction targets through the use of local land use planning, urban forest restoration, public outreach campaigns, and other reduction strategies.
In November 2005, the Sierra Club recognized the City of Alexandria as a “Cool City.” Being designated as a “Cool City” means the City has committed to prepare a
What Has the City Implemented
to Reduce its Carbon Footprint?
- Hired Energy Manager and established an Energy Conservation Committee
- Developed a Green Building Policy
- Green Fleet (purchase biodiesel and hybrids)
- Distributed over 2000 CFLs to citizens
- Expanded Outreach and Education
- Plant approximately 350 trees annually
- Received grant funding to retrofit school buses with emission control devices
- Purchased Green Energy Renewable Energy Certificate for 6.2% of City's electricity usage.
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and a climate action plan with concrete steps for reducing GHG emissions. In January 2008, the City adopted a resolution to join the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), a membership association of 1,000 local governments committed to advancing climate protection and sustainable development. As part of ICLEI membership requirement, City staff is developing a City-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory. Upon completion of the emission inventory, the City will begin development of a Climate Action Plan for inclusion in the Eco-City/Environmental Action Plan.
In April 2009, the Office of Environmental Quality released two reports: Greenhouse Gas and Criteria Air Pollutant Inventory and State of the Air Report: Past, Present, and Future. The Emission Inventory contains City government operations and community-wide emission estimates of greenhouse gases and criteria air pollutatts such as SO2, NOX, PM2.5. The State of the Air Report provides an overview of Alexandria’s 40-year history of monitoring and controlling air pollution within the City. In 2005, which was selected as the baseline year, community-wide GHG emissions were approximately 2.6 million metric tonnes of which the City government operations resulted in approximately 80,000 metric tonnes of GHGs. Therefore, participation from the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors is vital to achieving the GHG reduction targets of 10% by 2012, 20% by 2020, and 80% by 2050.
The City of Alexandria released its draft Energy and Climate Change Action Plan 2012 – 2020 (ECAP) on March 14, 2011. The plan builds on the existing Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP) by providing information on policies and measures that the City is already undertaking, as well as possible new short-term and medium-term measures to achieve the EAP’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 10% by 2012, 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Moreover, it identifies measures for adapting to the physical impacts of climate change. The plan was approved by City Council at its Public Hearing on May 14th.
- To conserve energy as set forth by the Eco-City Environmental Charter.
- To increase awareness of energy conservation strategies by educating building operators and occupants.
- To use a life cycle cost analysis (to consider cost of lost opportunity) to set energy reduction goals and implement energy conservation technologies.
- To use a “best practices” approach to reduce costs and the use of energy in the operations and maintenance of facilities.
- To evaluate, recommend and implement energy savings initiatives.
- To measure and verify whether energy conservation initiatives have been met.
Our Plan to Meet Energy Reduction Goals in City Facilities
- Reduce energy consumption, minimize environmental impact and save money.
- Ensure a comfortable work environment in the most cost-effective manner possible.
- Create a synergy among City employees to improve energy efficiency and keep costs down.
- Reduce expenditures for utilities and redirect savings to maintenance and repair of facilities.
- Install energy efficient replacement components for lighting and mechanical equipment.
- Become an Energy Star partner and join the "Go Green Virginia" initiative sponsored by the Virginia Municipal League.
- Implement energy reduction initiatives by first addressing the high-energy users.
- Organize an Energy Conservation Committee to plan and implement energy conservation initiatives.
- Install energy-saving devices and/or controls on equipment and lighting.
- Educate employees and occupants on energy conservation issues.
- Partner with other jurisdictions and agencies to study the feasibility of integrating solar technologies into new and renovation projects.
- Identify projects and seek funds to leverage their implementation.
- Create an energy index for individual facilities and monitor energy performance and results.
Green Energy Purchase
In May of 2008, Dominion Virginia Power submitted a request to the Virginia State Corporation-Commission (SCC) to provide its customers two options for purchasing renewable energy. Option one allows customers to offset 100% of their electrical usage with electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Option two allows customers to purchase smaller increments of renewable energy each month (e.g., 100 kWh), allowing their monthly premium for the renewable energy to be a fixed dollar amount of their choosing. Under both options, Dominion purchases renewable energy certificates (RECs) in order to provide customers a means of directly supporting production of renewable energy. The RECs will be procured from renewable energy sources, such as wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydroelectric resources. As of October 2010, Alexandria has one of the highest participation rates in Dominion Green Power program. For more information on how to purchase Green Power visit Dominion VA Green Power.
What Can You Do to Conserve Energy and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?
- Replace incandescent lights with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL)
- Heat and cool wisely by using programmable thermostats
- Shutdown computers and monitors at the end of each work day
- Unplug electrical equipment not in use (For example: T.V., Audio/Video, Radio, Coffee Maker, etc)
- Calculate your carbon footprint at EPA's GHG Household Emissions Calculator
- Purchase a fuel-efficient car and drive less
- Buy products with the EPA"Energy Star" label
- Turn off unused appliances and electronic devices
- Plant a tree
- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
- Use water wisely and purchase products with the EPA “Water Sense” label