Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination

Fairfax County, Virginia

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Our office is open 8:30AM-5PM M-F

703-324-7136 | TTY 711

12000 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 533
Fairfax, VA 22035

Kambiz Agazi, Director

WHAT WE DO

The Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination (OEEC) leads the county's cross-organizational development and implementation of effective environmental and energy policies, goals, programs and projects. OEEC engages county departments, authorities, businesses and residents to advance environmental and energy priorities and address community needs.

Learn More

From this page you can find information on the development of the Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan, locate resources and information to help improve the sustainability of your home or your business, and explore the latest news from Fairfax County on topics like clean energy and environmental conservation.

Latest News and Information

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February 25, 2020 | 09:28AM
The average household has more than a dozen appliances. These include big ticket items like refrigerators, ovens, washers and dryers, and smaller pieces like microwaves, toasters and blenders. We tend to take these items for granted as long as they’re working and meeting our needs. But what happens when they reach the end of their useful life or are working but no longer needed? Must they go to waste? The answer is a resounding “no!” Here are four ways to responsibly deal with unwanted or outdated appliances: Reuse If you are upgrading to more energy-efficient models, consider donating your older, working appliances to community organizations, or selling them independently, rather than sending them to the dump. This will ensure that they are reused until they are no longer in working order, maximizing their potential. Recycle Is your appliance busted or at the end of its rope? Time to think about recycling. There are many companies that will haul your appliances away to recycle parts and pieces. One option is to connect with Dominion Energy and participate in their appliance recycling program which will ensure your appliance is recycled responsibly and will put $20.00 in your pocket, just for participating. Repurpose Feeling handy? If you’re a creative type and want to make the most of your older appliances, consider repurposing certain elements yourself.  The drum from your washing machine could become a piece of furniture. The frame of your fridge could become a bookshelf or a large-scale cooler for your patio. Just be careful of hazardous or environmentally sensitive materials, like freon. Repair If you’re not the DIY type, check out Fix-It Clinics hosted by the Fairfax County Public Library. Bring in your small, broken household appliances and volunteers will help you return them to working order. Search for “Fix-It Clinic” on the library events page to find the next clinic near you. Want to know more about waste disposal and management? The Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services has a wealth of information including the locations and hours where white goods/metal items can be recycled and information about donation stations in the county for gently used appliances.

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February 19, 2020 | 11:27AM
The word inventory brings to mind people with scanners or clipboards, moving from aisle to aisle in a store or warehouse, physically counting the various items. While a greenhouse gas inventory isn’t accomplished this way, the objective is the same: to capture data on the amount of a particular item on hand at a point in time. In this case, the item is units of greenhouse gases, often measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) But how is this possible? After all, greenhouse gases are often invisible, nebulous things, seemingly difficult to quantify. Here, we break down the basics of conducting a greenhouse gas inventory as it is the essential first stage of the Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) development process. Establish the Scope and Baseline Before any counting can begin, the scope of the inventory needs to be defined. Greenhouse gases come from many different sources, especially in a large, active county like ours. Identifying the many possible sources of emissions upfront can help guide the inventory process and ensure relevant, accurate information is collected. Once its complete, the inventory can be used to set goals for greenhouse gas emission reduction. Many goals are structured in relation to past emission levels or specific sectors. For instance, a goal could be set to reduce overall county greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2040. Or, a goal could stipulate that we will reduce our emissions from transportation sources by 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. An exhaustive greenhouse gas inventory provides a starting point for setting reasonable goals and allows for measurable progress over time. Collect the Necessary Data This is where the rubber meets the road – the heart and soul of a greenhouse gas inventory is data collection. Gathering information about emissions from various sources is a time-intensive process and requires the collaboration of many different stakeholders. Examples of data sources include residential, commercial and industrial energy use, waste generation across sectors, emissions from transportation (fuel use by cars, trucks, buses, trains, etc.), and municipal operations such as energy used by streetlights or water treatment plants. Tracking down and compiling this data in a well-organized manner ensures that the analysis portion of the process can advance smoothly. Convert and Analyze the Data The amount of gasoline used by a bus is measured differently than the amount of electricity used by the county’s streetlights. In order to complete the greenhouse gas inventory, all the different units of measure need to be converted into a common metric that reflects the amount of greenhouse gas emitted from each source (MTCO2e). This is accomplished using emission factors that accurately change the units of measure and normalize all the various data points into one, common language. Once the data has been converted, analysis can begin. The analysis portion of the inventory identifies and highlights trends in the data and organizes the information by sector or operational activity. Summarizing and visualizing the data helps to support the goal setting process and ensures that everyone involved has a similar understanding of the available information. The CECAP Greenhouse Gas Inventory As the Fairfax County CECAP moves forward, the greenhouse gas inventory will provide a wealth of information about where we are as a community, so we can make smart choices about where we’re headed in the future. You can find all the CECAP news and updates on the Climate Action News feed.

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February 12, 2020 | 01:41PM
New Financing Option Is Designed to Support Energy and Resiliency Improvements to Commercial Buildings FAIRFAX, Va. – Feb. 13, 2020 – Fairfax County officials announced today the launch of a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency (C-PACE) program, a financing tool designed to encourage building owners to pursue energy-saving, water-saving and resiliency projects within commercial properties. Through the program, building owners looking to complete specific capital improvement projects can secure private funding which is then repaid via a property tax assessment. C-PACE allows building owners to make substantial improvements to older buildings, or to add sustainable technologies to new buildings, with little or no up-front cost. The loans are typically long-term, sometimes tied to the useful life of the eligible improvement and carry with the property from one owner to the next. This lending model allows building owners to undertake large-scale projects and improvements with minimal initial capital outlays, preserving cash flow and producing near-term operational savings. In November, the county awarded a C-PACE administrator contract to Virginia PACE Authority (VPA) following a competitive request for proposals process. The county is not involved in lending or in guaranteeing the collection of funds for this program but does levy a tax lien on each property and enforces the C-PACE assessment. Notably, the C-PACE program in Fairfax County is the first program in Virginia to include provisions for resiliency improvements to buildings. Qualifying improvements would address risks due to flooding, high winds or extreme heat and would be independently verified by a professional engineer prior to financing being approved. The program also accommodates projects designed to address stormwater issues. “The Fairfax County C-PACE program will support responsible, sustainable development of commercial property and will help ensure the long-term resiliency of our local and regional economy,” said Jeff McKay, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “By investing in projects to improve the energy efficiency, water use and resilience of their properties, commercial building owners commit to being good stewards of their resources and good citizens of our county.” Fairfax County is home to thousands of businesses, including 10 Fortune 500 companies and 8,900 technology firms. Business interest in the county is expected to grow in the coming decade as the Metro Silver Line extension is completed and the redevelopment of Tysons continues. Commercial building owners interested in learning more about the Fairfax County C-PACE program can attend a series of workshops this spring. Application materials are available on the VPA website.

Fairfax County Sustainability Initiatives Report

The Fairfax County Sustainability Initiatives report documents the county's efforts to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship.

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