The Virginia Beach metropolitan area is ranked No. 4 in the nation among mid-sized cities for ENERGY STAR certified buildings, according to a new list from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The region has 57 ENERGY STAR certified buildings. More than half of them – 32 of 57 – are in Virginia Beach, including 22 public schools, six private businesses and four city government buildings.
According to the EPA, the region saves $3.3 million a year and prevents emissions equal to the energy use of 2,670 homes because of our energy-efficient buildings.
“Our goal is to make it to the top of the list,” said Lori Herrick, Virginia Beach’s energy management administrator.
While there has not been a formal effort to increase ENERGY STAR certified buildings in Hampton Roads, the city’s Energy Office launched a new energy training program in January. To help organizations use the ENERGY STAR tools, city staff holds monthly training sessions at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library. Attendees are taught how to measure the energy performance, water use, utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions of their building. Many types of buildings’ energy usage can be benchmarked, including schools, office buildings, churches, retail chains, hospital systems and government buildings. Information is available on how to improve energy usage and how to qualify for a reduced tax rate. For more information on the training sessions, visit the website here.
Since 2010, the City of Virginia Beach has given a special tax rate to qualified residential and commercial buildings that are energy-efficient. Information and applications are available online at the real estate assessor's website here or in print at the Planning Department's Office of Permits and Inspections, 2405 Courthouse Drive, Building #2, Room 100, Virginia Beach, VA 23456.
“Measuring your energy usage and cost is the first step to properly managing your energy”, said Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. “The City of Virginia Beach is happy to offer this tax rate to our citizens and businesses as we all continue to make strides toward becoming energy efficient.”
Commercial buildings that have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide. On average, these buildings use 35 percent less energy and cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers. ENERGY STAR certification is awarded based on a single year of actual, measured energy performance. It is valid for one year.
To read the complete list and an explanation of how it was compiled, click HERE.
For more information on Virginia Beach’s energy program and to apply, visit www.vbgov.com/energy.
For more information on ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov. For more information on EPA’s ENERGY STAR commercial and industrial program, visit www.energystar.gov/buildings.
For more information on the benefits of benchmarking in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, visit www.energystar.gov/datatrends.
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