Reduction of energy consumption provides significant paybacks in terms of reduced energy costs.
In 2008, the City of Virginia Beach established a Joint Energy Committee. The Joint Energy Committee, in partnership with Dominion (our provider of electricity), comprises members of various city departments and City Public Schools to identify, assess, and implement energy-related activities. The Committee has drafted a plan that has identified a number of key issues and goals for the City. Also, the Committee is chaired by Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen.
In 2008, the City adopted two Administrative Directives related to energy: Green Building Criteria for New City Buildings, and No Idling Policy Administrative Directive.
Green Building Criteria for New City Buildings
This Administrative Directive is to establish the City policy for implementation of a "green building" program consistent with the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. Both the City of Virginia Beach and the Virginia Beach City Public Schools have already taken voluntary steps toward reducing energy consumption in recent construction of facilities in compliance with LEED standards.
No Idling Policy Administrative Directive
Idling vehicles produce unnecessary pollution that contribute to climate changes, smog, and health problems; therefore, in 2008, the City adopted a policy that no licensed/unlicensed motor vehicle or equipment owned, leased or fueled by the City of Virginia Beach will be left idling. Exception to this Directive are listed in paragraph 6.0 herein entitled "Exceptions to Policy".
Energy Efficient Building Tax Classification
In May of 2010, City Council adopted a special tax rate for qualified residential and commercial energy-efficient buildings. The special rate applies to the buildings, not to the land on which it is located.
Energy Star Program
In April 2011, the City of Virginia Beach joined the ENERGY STAR program as an ENERGY STAR partner. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Through the many ENERGY STAR tools and resources, this program offers extensive energy conservation information that can be used at both home and work.
In partnership with ENERGY STAR, the City of Virginia Beach will continue its energy conservation efforts to include:
- Measuring and tracking the energy performance of our organization's facilities, where possible, by using tools such as those offered through ENERGY STAR;
- Developing and implementing a plan consistent with the ENERGY STAR Energy Management Guidelines to achieve energy savings;
- Spreading the word about the importance of energy efficiency to our staff and community.
Virginia Beach Visitor Center
In 2012, the Virginia Beach Visitor Information Center, owned by the City of Virginia Beach, earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification. This signifies that the center performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. In order to make the building more energy-efficient, the following actions were executed:
- Replaced the heating and air conditioning system
- Upgraded exterior parking lot fixtures and wall fixtures with energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology
- Improved Interior lighting, included T-8 compact fluorescent lamps and LED fixtures, as well as motion-activated sensors that shut off lights during inactivity
- Installed programmable thermostats with the new heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, allowing temperature setbacks during unoccupied periods
- Installed timers on water heaters so water is only heated when the building is occupied
- Installed switches for the conference room promotional light boxes, allowing them to be turned off when the building is unoccupied
- Eliminated a vending machine
- Disconnected unnecessary electric strip heaters
Before the retrofits, the center had a baseline Energy Star Portfolio rating of 28. Once completed, the score rose to 82 by December 2011. This equated to an energy usage drop of approximately 38 percent, with an annual savings of more than $7,200. In addition, the Visitor Information Center has also been certified “Virginia Green” for its other initiatives that include low-flow water fixtures and recycling.
Visitor Center Earns Energy Star Certification
Virginia Beach Human Services - The Eighth Energy Star Certified Building
In April of 2012, the City of Virginia Beach announced that the Virginia Beach Human Services
building, located at 3432 Virginia Beach Blvd., has earned the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification. This
distinction requires that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar
facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets energy efficiency
performance levels as set by the EPA.
With more than 50,000 visitors annually, the Human Service building provides
essential support services for the community. As the 15-year-old
building was due for upgrades, the City completed the following actions to make
the building more energy-efficient:
- HVAC Control Improvements
- Ceiling and Wall Occupancy Sensors
- Occupancy Sensors on Vending Machines
- Replacement of approximately 390 computers and replacement of all old CRT
(cathode ray tube) computer monitors with energy saving LCD (liquid crystal