Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open to visitors by appointment only. Please call or email from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
703-324-7136 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 533
Fairfax, VA 22035
John Morrill


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Operational Energy Strategy

Fairfax County's commitment to addressing the causes of climate change is demonstrated by policies, programs and projects that lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) associated with its operations. These efforts include reducing electricity and natural gas used in county buildings and operations and reducing fuel consumption in county fleet vehicles and buses. Decreasing overall energy use not only provides wide-ranging environmental benefits, it also results in fiscal benefits to the county and its residents through lower utility and fuel costs.

Read the Operational Energy Strategy

The Operational Energy Strategy promotes cost-effective solutions and an energy-conscious culture for county government agencies and employees. The resulting reductions in energy use will help mitigate escalating energy costs and promote a more sustainable future for Fairfax County. 


On July 13, 2021, the Board of Supervisors adopted a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal through the Carbon Neutral Counties Declaration. Led by Fairfax County, Carbon Neutral Counties provides a mechanism for counties across the country to commit to operational emissions reductions. By signing the declaration, Fairfax County pledges to be energy carbon neutral by 2040, work with state and federal partners to advance this goal, and ensure it is implemented equitably.

Meeting this carbon neutral goal will require significant and sustained effort across all facets of county operations. As such, on July 13, 2021, the Board also adopted an update to the Fairfax County Operational Energy Strategy (OES).

The updated Operational Energy Strategy builds on the original OES, adopted in 2018, and is intended to advance the objectives of the Board’s Environmental Vision through the setting of goals, targets and actions across major focus areas as outlined below.


Reaching the goal of energy carbon neutrality by 2040 will require a sustained, multi-pronged effort to reduce fossil fuel use in county facilities and operations, thereby reducing the GHGs recognized to drive global warming. OES is primarily focused on addressing carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide. 

The county’s actions include emphasizing energy efficiency and conservation, deploying renewable energy and alternative technologies, electrifying the vehicle fleet, and continuing to encourage and empower behavior change for waste reduction.

OEEC is collecting and managing data on greenhouse gas emissions from across the county enterprise to measure progress toward the carbon neutrality goal.

View the County Government Energy Data webpage for data on GHG emissions from building energy use.

To reduce overall emissions and energy costs, Fairfax County is making energy efficiency an integral part of facility management, capital improvement and renovation projects including the pursuit of deep energy reduction retrofits.  

Where whole-building approaches to deep energy retrofits are not feasible, the county will implement cost-effective energy efficiency projects on existing building systems, such as replacing heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) equipment with high-efficiency systems, improving insulation, or replacing outdated lighting fixtures with LED lighting.

View the County Government Energy Data webpage for data on county energy use.

A smart thermostat on wall showing current temperature
A smart thermostat helps improve building performance at the FCRHA building in Fair Oaks.

Since water treatment and distribution are energy intensive activities, measures that reduce water and sewer use in county operations are especially important to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The county’s actions include monitoring water-using equipment, auditing and assessing buildings for water efficiency opportunities, implementing cost-effective water-efficiency solutions such as leak detection sensors, and evaluating new technologies.

View the County Government Energy Data webpage for data on county water use.

The county sets a net-zero energy standard for new construction and major renovation. It also requires projects to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) rating system.

Net-zero energy (NZE) structures incorporate the best practice in energy-efficient design. In addition, the county is emphasizing all-electric equipment for new construction and major renovations. Avoiding direct use of fossil fuels allows the county to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maximizing use of on-site renewable electricity from solar photovoltaics.

See the Green Building page for more information and a list of LEED certified buildings.

The county is committed to the use of renewable energy for a substantial portion of its electricity use. This includes deploying rooftop solar photovoltaic systems at county buildings and facilities and procuring clean energy from other locations to offset energy use where on-site renewable energy systems are not feasible or affordable.

View our Climate Action Viewer to see solar installations at county facilities.

Solar panels being installed at Sully Community Center
Solar panels being installed at Sully Community Center.

Transitioning the county’s vehicle fleet from gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles to hybrid-electric and fully electric vehicles (EVs) will help reduce the county’s use of petroleum-based fuels. To support fleet electrification, the county is also installing the necessary charging infrastructure and reserving parking for both hybrids and EVs at county government buildings.

OEEC coordinates among agencies to electrify the county fleet of vehicles to the extent possible and to ensure the necessary charging infrastructure is provided at new and renovated facilities where fleet and/or public vehicle EV charging is appropriate and desirable.

Learn more about Fleet Electrification.

Electric vehicle charging at Lorton District Police Station
Electric vehicle charging at Lorton District Police Station

The county is committed to developing responsible and sustainable sourcing strategies that will advance environment, climate action, and racial and social equity policies.

This includes developing and implementing a sustainable purchasing policy that considers supply chain emissions and prioritizes environmentally friendly products and services, including those made of recycled materials, when selecting vendors and making procurement decisions. Fairfax County is also continuing to evaluate and improve its Supply Chain Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance.

Learn more about Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing.

Fairfax County has created a plan for county government and schools to achieve Zero Waste by 2030. Reaching the Zero Waste goal will require concerted efforts across county operations, including fostering a culture of sustainability, phasing out single-use products and packaging, expanding composting operations, and supporting the circular economy by purchasing more durable, reusable and repairable materials.

Learn more about the Zero Waste program.

Fairfax County Zero Waste logo

Fostering a workplace culture of energy efficiency and conservation practices is another way the county can reduce its carbon footprint. The county increases employee awareness of environmental stewardship through education, recognition events and special initiatives.

Fairfax Employees for Environmental Excellence (FEEE) is Fairfax County’s employee green team. They inspire and empower staff to take action to minimize the environmental impact of county operations, particularly in the areas of waste management and recycling, energy efficiency and conservation, and emissions reduction.

Learn more about FEEE.

FEEE Members posing in front of trash in back of truck after a successful litter cleanup
FEEE members posing in front of trash in back of truck after a successful litter cleanup

Properly managing the county’s utility services can also help reduce electricity and other energy costs.

OEEC coordinates among agencies to manage electricity use to minimize peak demand charges, select appropriate rate schedules, and periodically review utility bills for cost savings.

View the County Government Energy Data webpage for data on utility costs.

Consistent with the county’s interests in accountability and transparency, the Board of Supervisors and the public are kept informed about progress towards the goals and targets in the Operational Energy Strategy.

While the goals, targets and actions in the OES reflect current conditions, periodic review and update will help ensure that these elements of the Energy Strategy remain meaningful.

View the Climate Action Dashboard to see the progress being made on the Operational Energy Strategy.

Operational Energy Strategy in Action

Watch our Operational Energy Strategy in Action video series to see how Fairfax County is working to become carbon neutral in its facilities, fleet vehicles and operations by 2040.

County Government Energy Data

Fairfax County Government maintains more than 500 buildings and 11 million square feet of building space. The County Energy Data Page provides energy use, cost, and emissions data for government buildings and facilities.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant