Conservation Assistance Program


Energy Conservation Projects

Reduce energy use. Save money. Cut carbon emissions.

  • Who Can Apply?

    Community Associations and Places of Worship in Fairfax County are eligible for energy funding. Common Interest Communities can include civic, condo or homeowner associations or housing cooperatives; projects must be installed on shared property. Places of worship must be 501(c)3 organizations. Note that this is more limited than the watershed program. See below for more energy resources for homeowners and businesses.
  • How Much Reimbursement?

    50% of costs up to $5000.
  • Maintenance Requirement?

    Energy projects need to be maintained and kept in place for 10 years.
  • Where Does the Funding Come From?

    The Fairfax County Environmental Improvement Program is funding this effort, and it is administered by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District.

Energy Project Types:

Energy Audit. Have a certified energy auditor perform an assessment and report on civic/homeowner association building(s). 50% match up to $750.

Air Sealing and Insulation: Maintain an airtight building envelope. (Don’t heat the outdoors in the winter.)

HVAC and Duct Sealing: Fix leaking ducts. (Don’t let conditioned air escape from ducts to an attic.)

Lighting: Keeping a community well-lit doesn’t have to be an energy drain. Lighting projects can also include occupancy sensors, timers, or photo sensors to ensure that lights turn off when not needed.

Appliances: Replace appliance dinosaurs.

Others as recommended in an energy audit. For more information about the building science approach, see: http://vaenergystar.com/northern-virginia/


How to Apply For Energy Funding

  • Contact NVSWCD to get started

  • Form project team

  • Organizational approval

  • Contractor bid and budget

  • Submit Application

    Submit by June 15, 2017 for summer 2017 installation
    September 15, 2017 for fall 2017 installation
  • Download the Energy Projects Application Form

Watershed Conservation Projects

Capture runoff. Protect streams and rivers. Enhance landscapes.

  • Who Can Apply? Anyone!

    Homeowners, Community Associations, Places of Worship, and Other Property Owners in Fairfax County and City of Fairfax
  • How Much Reimbursement?

    75% of project costs up to max. Percentage and maximum reimbursement vary by project and applicant type.
  • Maintenance Requirement?

    Watershed projects need to be maintained and kept in place for 10 years.
  • Where Does the Funding Come From?

    The statewide Virginia Conservation Assistance Program and the Fairfax County Environmental Improvement Program are funding this effort. It is administered locally by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District.

Watershed Project Types:

Conservation Landscaping.  Incorporate native trees and shrubs, meadow or wetland plants into your landscape. Typical cost: $5-15 per square foot. Minimum size: 150 square feet.

Rain Gardens. Bowl-shaped garden area that collects and absorbs runoff. Typical cost: $10-25 per square foot. Minimum size: 100 square feet.

Dry Well/Infiltration Trench. A gravel-filled area that collects and absorbs runoff. Typical cost: $5-15 per square foot. Minimum size: 100 square feet surface area or 300 cubic feet volume.

Porous Pavement/Pavers. Replace impervious hard surfaces to allow water to pass through and absorbs into the ground below. Must be installed by certified professional. Typical cost: $10-35 per square foot. Minimum size: 300 square feet.

And Many More! Learn more about Watershed Project Options.


How to Apply for Watershed Projects

  • Form project team

  • Organization/Property owner approval and support

  • Request a NVSWCD site visit

    We will visit your community and provide recommendations. Send your request by June 30 for a summer site visit, and by September 30 for a fall site visit. We are currently scheduling site visits for 6-8 weeks from the request date. Thank you for your patience.

  • Contractor bid and budget

  • Submit Application

    Submit by March 8, 2017 for spring 2017 installation
    Submit by June 7, 2017 for summer 2017 installation
    Submit by September 6, 2017 for fall 2017 installation

Please note that planting is not permitted between June 10 - September 15 due to temperatures, and strongly discouraged in the 2-3 weeks before and after that timeframe. Fall is the best time to plant!

"You’re going to have to beat us away from applying again in the future. This is an awesome program and it’s exciting that it’s now open to places of worship and individual homeowners."
Read more from communities who have participated in the Conservation Assistance Program.

Program Requirements

  • Property owner must be willing to keep and maintain practices for 10 years after installation. NVSWCD will verify ongoing maintenance and provide technical assistance. No additional funding is available for maintenance.
  • The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District will issue a 1099-form to the Internal Revenue Service for any reimbursements over $600.00.

  • Native species will be used for all plantings. For possibilities, see: Plant NoVA Natives and online searchable Native Plants for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed or the Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora
  • Volunteer help is encouraged but not required. Volunteer time can be used as match at the federal rate.

How to Request a Site Visit

To request a site visit, contact the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District at conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov. Please include the following information:

  • The site address
  • Which project types you are most interested in
  • A basic description of any drainage and erosion issues on the property
  • Names and contact information (email preferred) for all property owners/decision makers/project team members
  • For community associations or places of worship, please ensure that the board is aware and supportive of the site visit and potentially installing a project on the property.

Please also look up and provide the following information to the best of your ability:

  • Supervisor District (Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Sully, Mount Vernon, Braddock, Mason, Lee, Providence, Springfield)
  • Watershed information: Watershed Name, Resource Protection Area on site (Y/N)? (Go to Fairfax County Watersheds)
  • Is the property adjacent to parkland (Y/N)?
  • Soils information (Go to Fairfax County Soils Information for maps and guide pp. 9-11. On the soil map, you are looking for the number in RED. You do NOT want the number in black with the circle around it.)
  • Dominant soil type?
  • Soil drainage (good, fair, marginal, poor)?
  • Suitability for infiltration trenches (good, fair, marginal, poor)?

Submit An Application

Send your association's site visit request or completed application electronically to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District at conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov Attachments must be limited to 6MB or less. Alternatively, you may also mail the completed application form to 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 905, Fairfax, VA 22035.

For questions, please contact the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District.

Other Conservation Programs

There are several other programs that help Fairfax County residents conserve energy and water resources at home. Here are just a few:

Rain Barrel Workshops. Rain barrels can be placed under the downspout to collect water for reuse. They can be acquired through the Rain Barrel Workshops and Sales sponsored by the Conservation District and other regional partners.

Home Turf - A Virginia Healthy Lawns Program. This Virginia Cooperative Extension program provides homeowners and community associations with a personalized nutrient management plan and recommendations for a healthy lawn. Learn more about the Home Turf program.

Energy Action Fairfax - Energy Efficiency Presentation. These experienced energy auditors can answer questions about typical energy efficiency challenges and how to solve them for homes in your community. Free, no application required. Request a presentation.

Green Business Program


Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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