Eco-City Alexandria

Early in 2007, under the Mayor and City Council's direction, the City of Alexandria partnered with Virginia Tech's Department of Urban Affairs and Planning located in Alexandria to develop a new and holistic strategic environmental planning process called Eco-City Alexandria. The ultimate goal was to create an Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan to guide Alexandria toward environmental sustainability.

Page updated on Aug 29, 2016 at 1:20 PM

Upcoming Events

Calendar Placeholder  

What's New

SolarizeAlexandria to Hold Three Public Information Sessions  Regarding Opportunity for Solar Energy Installation in Alexandria

August 29, 2016

Now is Your Chance to Go Solar with Solarize Alexandria

  • No cost to sign up and no commitment 
  • Free solar site assessments
  • Lower than ever solar panel pricing and affordable financing
  • Qualified local solar installer (Alt Energy) and high performance systems
  • Eligibility for the City of Alexandria's Solar Energy Equipment Tax Exemption
  • Sign up by October 9

Sign up for Solarize Alexandria Today.


Where Is Your House on the Solarize NOVA Map?


Our partners at the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) have developed a Northern Virginia Solar Map, an online tool that provides homeowners a preliminary analysis of the solar energy potential for their homes -- including the estimated size and electricity savings of a solar power system. Zoom in on your house to take a look. 


LEAP and NVRC have executed successful Solarize programs in Charlottesville, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Herndon, Leesburg/Loudoun, Nelson County, Vienna, and the 9-County territory served by the Piedmont Environmental Council. 


Last year's inaugural Solarize Alexandria campaign resulted in 15 new solar power systems for your neighbors, increasing the amount of solar power in Alexandria by 70 kilowatts. 

Article Headline    

Solar Information Sessions Start TONIGHT


What is Solarize Alexandria and is it the right opportunity for your home? How did it work for other local homeowners?


Find out at one of our upcoming Info Sessions.

Get all the details. 



6:30 PM
Duncan Library Meeting Room 


6:30 PM
City Hall Sister Cities Room 


6:30 PM 
Beatley Library Meeting Room 


SolarizeAlexandria is Back to Help Residents Go Solar

For Immediate Release: August 10, 2016

SolarizeAlexandria, a program to make it easier and more affordable for residents to install solar power systems on Alexandria homes, will hold its second annual campaign through October 9.  The program provides a free home energy efficiency check-up and solar site assessment; discount pricing through bulk purchasing; project facilitation and qualified installation; financing and federal tax incentive options; and qualification for the City of Alexandria’s Solar Energy Equipment Tax Exemption.

“I’m excited to see SolarizeAlexandria build upon a successful 2015 campaign and offer opportunities to increase solar power in Alexandria in 2016,” said Mayor Allison Silberberg. “Solar power can provide energy cost savings to homeowners and enhance home quality and value, while helping meet our Eco-City Alexandria goals such as reducing our carbon footprint.”

In 2015, SolarizeAlexandria launched with a goal of 10 residents choosing to install solar power systems on their homes.  The campaign resulted in 15 participants, whose new solar power systems increased the amount of solar power in Alexandria by 70 kilowatts.

Homeowners who register for the SolarizeAlexandria program will receive a free home energy check-up and no-obligation solar site assessment.  During this visit, a qualified technician will give advice on ways to lower home energy costs, and will determine whether solar power is a good option for the home.  Homeowners who would like to pursue solar can take advantage of discounted prices that leverage regional bulk pricing.  Since 1978, the Alexandria City Code has provided a real estate tax exemption for the value of certified solar energy equipment.

As part of this year’s SolarizeAlexandria campaign, the City of Alexandria and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) have announced the expansion of the Northern Virginia Solar Map to Alexandria. This online tool provides homeowners a preliminary analysis of the solar energy potential for their homes. The Northern Virginia Solar Map provides information on the potential size and electricity savings of a solar power system. 

Alexandria joins the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) and the nonprofit Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) to offer SolarizeAlexandria. Other Northern Virginia Solarize programs are located in Dumfries, Falls Church, Herndon, Leesburg/Loudoun County, and Vienna. LEAP also works with other localities to provide Solarize programs throughout Virginia.

To get started with a free home energy check-up and solar site assessment, use the Northern Virginia Solar Map, or learn more about cost-effective home solar power options, visit

What is Eco-City Alexandria?

The Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission, a Council-appointed volunteering group of 13 citizens with expertise and interest in the environmental field, is the project's principal advisor along with representatives from Alexandria City Council and City Staff. The Director of the City's Office of Environmental Quality serves as the City's project manager.

In 2007, the Eco-City Alexandria team conducted an inventory of existing City programs to create " Eco-City Alexandria: A Green-Ventory of City Environmental Policies, Plans and Programs". In addition, Virginia Tech examined best practices from across the country and abroad to create a Compendium of Model Programs and Practices.

In 2008, the project team focused on the development of an Eco-City Charter. An extensive public outreach campaign was devised to ensure that the Charter reflects the wishes and priorities of the citizens. A successful Eco-City Café was held to obtain public inputs required for the development of a draft Charter. This draft Charter was then released for public comment at the following annual Alexandria Earth Day. A very successful Eco-City Summit was then held to get additional public feedback on the draft Charter. The keynote speaker for this summit was Mayor Bob Harvey of the City of Waitakere, New Zealand, a pioneer of Eco-City and sustainability. The Eco-City Charter, one of the first of its kind in the country, was unanimously adopted by City Council in June 2008. This Charter encompasses the core values and ten guiding principles which is the basis for the Environmental Action Plan.

The Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP 2030) was adopted by City Council in June 2009 and follows the guiding principles outlined in the Eco-City Charter. It serves as a road map for City leaders and residents to implement the Eco-City Charter. The EAP 2030 outlines 48 goals, 50 targets and 353 actions for the next 20 years to lead the City towards environmental sustainability.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The central goal of sustainability is to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural worlds.

A sustainable community is an environmentally, economically, and socially healthy place where people can live, work and play for decades to come:

  • Ecological sustainability ensures that all parts of the natural and built environments work together as a single ecological system.
  • Economic sustainability ensures a healthy economy that supports and sustains people and the environment in which they live over the long-term.
  • Social sustainability ensures that a community meets residents' basic health and social needs and has the resiliency to prevent and/or address problems in the future.

Additional Information 

Sign-up today for Environmental Quality E-News to receive updates on volunteer opportunities and environmental events.