City Energy Management

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Joint Energy Committee​

The City of Virginia Beach’s Joint Energy Committee (JEC) was created in the spring of 2007 in response to the City’s rising ​​energy costs.  The JEC includes representatives from various City departments, the Virginia Beach City Public schools, various venders and our utility providers.

The Joint Energy Committee is jointly chaired by Tom Leahy, Deputy City Manager.  The JEC meets on the first Thursday of the month and agendas include vendor presentations, study reports, consumption updates, and information on cutting edge energy technology.

The Joint Energy Committee recognizes that energy efficiency may be the cheapest, most abundant, and most underutilized resource for local economic and community development. A key part of green building is energy efficiency, which lowers operating costs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions without turning off any lights.   The committee also recognizes the value of properly managing energy for municipal operations.  The City pays approximately $20 million dollars in energy costs a year while maintaining approximately three million square feet of building space.  Virginia Beach City Public Schools pays over $15 million to maintain almost 11 million square feet of building space.

The JEC is the team that currently sets energy goals for municipal operations.  Focusing on energy efficiency and conservation initiatives in municipal operations saves the taxpayer money and is a positive step towards carbon neutrality. A commitment to green buildings also adds great value as these buildings provide safe, affordable and healthy environments for residents, students, and workers.

City of Virginia Beach Energy Office

​Based on the energy management need identified by the Joint Energy Committee, the energy office was created in July 2010 and provides a full-time Energy Management Office for the monitoring of municipal energy management. This office is staffed by the Energy Management Administrator and an Energy Specialist and is located in the Department of Public Work’s Division of Facilities Management. Outside of monitoring city energy usage, the Energy Office also finds new ways for the city to save money on energy bills as well as become more energy efficient. ​

​Energy Tracking for Municipal Operations

In 2012, the City launched a comprehensive energy management software program.  As a result, we have increased tracking of electric, natural gas, water, sewer and fuel consumption. Reports provide a comprehensive view of the city’s energy costs and consumption, which helps staff identify specific areas where they can eliminate waste and conserve energy.

Virginia Beach is one of the leading cities to implement this energy bill process. This process includes electronic invoicing with Dominion Energy​ and Virginia Natural Gas. As a result of this program, the City has reduced the number of keyed bills by 1,000 and provides over 90 energy reports per quarter.  Energy usage reports are uploaded to the City’s intranet where departments can review their department’s usage of electric, natural gas, fuel, water, and sewer.

With electronic invoicing and integration into the City’s accounts payable system, the Government Finance Officers Association recognized the City’s energy management system with the Louisville Award for Innovation in Government from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) in 2013. The GFOA recognized this initiative as a contribution to the practice of government finance that exemplifies outstanding management.

Energy Champion Training Program​

The Energy Office recognized City employees as a driving factor in energy conservation and pursued an approach to engage employees in its energy reduction efforts.  In 2013, the City launched an energy training program designed to teach members the City's energy policies.  Once members complete the course material and pass a test, they are certified as "Energy Champions".  They then return to the work environment and assist with making operations more energy efficient

Energy Star Partnership​

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.

Visitor Center Earns Energy Star Certification


​​​​​​​​​​Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Buildings

In addition to the Energy Star program, the City of Virginia Beach takes part in the “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.” LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system.

 LEED certification provides an independent, third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. 

LEED-certified buildings are designed to:
      • ​​Lower operating costs and increase asset value 
      • Conserve enrgy and water 
      • Be healthier and safer for occupants
      • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions