Office of Energy Management
Community Climate Action & Energy Programs
The Office of Energy Management helps to build distinctive and vibrant neighborhoods by helping community residents and businesses reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through outreach events, provision of educational resources on energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, the annual SolarizeAlexandria event, and neighborhood energy and sustainability planning. To learn more about what residents can do to lower their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy use, and save money, see the City’s Climate Change & Energy page!
Solarize is a collective purchasing program whereby groups of homeowners and businesses or a representative of those groups negotiate rates, competitively select an installer, and help individuals “go solar” with a limited time offer. The City of Alexandria has worked with NVRC and LEAP to bring the community Solarize programs every year for the past five years.
OFFICE OF HOUSING ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMS
The Office of Housing provides a range of services to home buyers around energy efficiency. From the Home Rehabilitation Energy Efficiency Loan Program to energy assessments to weatherizing and utility assistance, the Office of Housing and its partners, including the Office of Energy Management, helps low- and moderate-income Alexandrians control their monthly energy bills.
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY (C-PACE)
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy or C-PACE is an innovative financing mechanism in which building owners can borrow money for energy efficiency, renewable energy, water saving, or resiliency projects and make repayments via an assessment on their property tax bills. The City of Alexandria has identified C-PACE implementation as a priority in the City’s Fiscal Year 2020 Interdepartmental Long-Range Planning Work Program as well as the Environmental Action Plan 2040. The program is currently in development, so stay tuned for updates!
EV INFRASTRUCTURE STRATEGY
The City’s Fiscal Year 2020 Interdepartmental Long-Range Planning Work Program also prioritizes the development of an electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy as a road map to anticipate the needs of community members and visitors as the City and the world transitions from conventional-fueled vehicles to cleaner-fueled vehicles. This program is also a key priority in the Environmental Action Plan 2040. The program is currently in development, so stay tuned for updates!
DASH BUS FLEET ZERO-EMISSIONS VEHICLE TRANSITION
The Office of Energy Management has been working with the Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) to develop a pilot program for a zero-emissions bus fleet transition. With funding secured from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust and statewide transit capital funding, DASH will place six battery-electric transit buses into its fleet rotation. The funding will also go towards installing fast chargers at the DASH bus depot. This project is also an Environmental Action Plan 2040 short-term priority action.
NEIGHBORHOOD ENERGY AND SUSTAINABILITY PLANNING
- The City of Alexandria Master Plan is made up of 18 Small Area Plans (SAPs) that guide development of the city. The Office of Energy Management provides input to these plans on incorporating elements of sustainability and energy use. Of particular note are the Eisenhower West Small Area Plan, the Old Town North Small Area Plan, and the North Potomac Yard Small Area Plan.
- Eisenhower West Small Area Plan. The Eisenhower West SAP incorporates environmental sustainability elements plan-wide. It seeks to align development with the City’s Environmental Action Plan and sustainability vision set forth in Alexandria’s Eco-City Charter. One key feature of the Eisenhower West SAP is the inclusion of energy modeling to identify possible large scale energy strategies, such as district energy systems and microgrids.
- Old Town North Small Area Plan. The Old Town North SAP seeks to promote sustainability for the site with a goal of carbon neutrality by 2040. The SAP will utilize sustainability measures based on the priorities of water quality, stormwater, green infrastructure, energy, and green buildings. Key features to note include the transformation of the 20-acre former power plant site into a model of sustainability and the push for LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.
- North Potomac Yard Small Area Plan. The North Potomac Yard Small Area Plan envisions an environmentally and economically sustainable and diverse 21stCentury urban, transit-oriented, mixed-used community that is compatible with adjacent neighborhoods. The plan will strive for carbon neutrality of the neighborhood by 2040 with an interim goal of carbon neutrality in buildings by 2030. It recommends the submission of an Environmental Sustainability Master Plan and a Water Management Plan. The plan also requires achievement of LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.
- The Energy Masters program promotes a more energy efficient and sustainable community by training volunteers in energy efficiency and water conservation techniques and then delivering this knowledge to the community through annual volunteering. To learn more about the program and apply, click here!
City Operations Energy Management
To help achieve the City’s environmental sustainability strategic goal, the Office of Energy Management works to reduce energy use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the proportion of City operations powered by renewable energy.
ENERGY USE REDUCTION
- The Office seeks to minimize energy use in City facilities, operations, and vehicle fleet by implementing energy saving projects throughout the City and educating employees on energy conservation measures. The City has completed LED lighting retrofits of City facilities, LED replacements of streetlights and traffic lights, and high-efficiency upgrades to essential building systems. Check out some of our highlighted projects:
- Alexandria Salt Barn - March 2019
- DASH Bus Depot - September 2019
- Human behavior is also an important factor in reducing energy use in facilities, so the Office seeks to educate building managers and staff on the energy use of the building where they work. Stay tuned for the Office of Energy Management’s updated Facility Benchmarking report.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS REDUCTION
- Energy Management works with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) and staff across the City to produce the City’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories, which helps to track the City’s progress on meeting Environmental Action Plan 2040 GHG emissions reduction goals. The Office is working closely with departments across the City to implement the updated Green Building Policyand increase the number of electric vehicles in the City’s fleet and throughout the community.
- The Office of Energy Management handles the purchasing of renewable energy credits (RECs) for the City. For several years, the City has budgeted for the purchasing of RECs to offset City electricity use. The Fiscal Year 2019 budget, allocated dollars for the purchase of RECs to offset at least 60% of the City’s electricity use. The Fiscal Year 2020 budget sets aside money to increase REC purchasing to reach 100% offset of City electricity use. Learn more about RECs on the Green Power Purchasing page of the City’s website.
- The Office also handles onsite and offsite procurement of renewable energy resources. The City currently has three buildings with solar PV systems: Beatley Central Library, Witter Recreational Field, and the Alexandria Renew facility.
Utility Acquisition and Management
To ensure a well-management government, the Office of Energy Management handles the acquisition of affordable utility resources, utility bill processing and payment, and analysis and reporting on the City’s energy usage and costs.
ACQUISITION OF AFFORDABLE UTILITY RESOURCES
- The City of Alexandria is a member of the Virginia Energy Purchasing Governmental Association (VEPGA), a joint powers association created in 2002 to negotiate multi-year electricity contracts with Dominion Energy on behalf of the City and other Virginia government members. Benefits of VEPGA membership include lower electricity rates and budget planning consistency.
The City of Alexandria also has a multi-year natural gas contract with Washington Gas in partnership with regional jurisdictions. This multi-year agreement results in lower natural gas rates and more budgetary certainty.
UTILITY BILL PROCESSING AND PAYMENT
- The Office of Energy Management handles the billing for the majority of Alexandria government’s utility accounts including bill processing and payment. Utility accounts comprise those for electricity, natural gas, diesel, propane, wastewater & sewage, and water. The Office ensures that utility bills are paid on time, avoiding unnecessary late fees, and performs bill audits to ensure the city is being charged appropriately from utility service providers.
ANALYTICS AND REPORTING
- To increase transparency of City government operations, the Office of Energy Management is in development of publicly accessible dashboards and reports providing insight on the City government’s energy usage and costs. Please view the City's dashboard on the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge page.
Resiliency and Energy Assurance
Damaged or destroyed critical energy and water infrastructure due to catastrophic emergency events can have a negative impact on health, safety, and welfare of City of Alexandria residents, businesses, and visitors. The Office of Energy Management works with other City officials to respond to and recover from shortages and disruptions in the supply and delivery of electricity, natural gas, other forms of energy and fuel, and potable water as laid out in Emergency Support Function (ESF) 12 of the City of Alexandria’s Emergency Operations Plan. This function includes working as a utility liaison during energy outages, providing subject matter expertise during response planning, and much more. Ensuring these tasks provides for a safe and resilient community where Alexandria residents, workers, and visitors can feel safe at all hours.
The Office also supports critical infrastructure throughout the City, such as healthcare centers and communications networks, by helping identify opportunities for emergency generation infrastructure and microgrid systems. The Environmental Action Plan 2040 expands on this function by calling for an increase to the City’s preparedness to respond to the impacts of climate change and environmental emergencies.
Utility Regulatory and Policy Affairs
Energy Management provides energy policy and regulatory guidance for the City and participates in consumer advocacy cases at the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to ensure utility services are fair and accessible for everyone and the economy has opportunities to grow. The Office of Energy Management staff frequently supports the City’s efforts with the SCC and other utility regulatory and policy affairs. Staff act as expert witnesses and help draft testimony to be submitted on the City’s behalf. The Environmental Action Plan 2040 calls for increased engagement in regulatory and policy affairs as it pertains to community energy use, climate change mitigation, and climate adaptation and resiliency.
The City recently partnered with the City of Arlington and members of the Virginia General Assembly to support House Bill 2792, Municipal Net Energy Metering, which was passed in March 2019. This bill was part of the City’s 2019 Legislative Package and testimony was submitted directly to Virginia delegates in support of the issue.
The City has participated in several other SCC cases including those dealing with water and natural gas. You can find the case records and City testimony for each by clicking on the links below:
- PUR-2020-00051 – In re: Electrification of Motor Vehicles (2020): Case Record and Public Comments
- PUR-2019-00182 – Ex Parte: In the matter concerning the implementation of a pilot program for municipal net energy metering (2019): Case Record and Public Comments
- PUR-2019-00094 – For approval of a 100 percent renewable energy tariff, designated Rider TRG (2019): Case Record and Public Comments
- PUR-2019-00040 – Dominion Energy Potomac Yard Transfer Station and Glebe Road GIS (2019): Case Record and Direct Testimony
- PUR-2017-00049 – Merger between Washington Gas, WGL Holdings, Inc., and AltaGas, LTD. (2017): Case Record and City of Alexandria Comments
- PUE-2016-00001 – For a general increase in rates and charges and to revise the terms and conditions applicable to gas service (2016): Case Record and Direct Testimony
- PUR-2021-00255 – Application of Virginia-American Water Company for a general increase in rates (2021): Case Record. The City, with support from outside counsel and technical consultants, will be submitting direct testimony according to the case schedule. Members of the community may submit public comments to Virginia American Water’s rate case by visiting the State Corporation Commissions public comment portal here.
- PUR-2018-00175 – Virginia American Water Company General Rate Request (2018): Case Record and Direct Testimony
- PUR-2017-00149 – Approval to Implement a Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Service Charge Plan and Rider (2017): Case Record and Direct Testimony
- PUE-2015-00097 – Virginia American Water Company - General Rate Request (2015): Case Record and Direct Testimony
- PUE-2014-00066 – Petition for Rulemaking to establish a Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Service Charge (2014): Case Record and Direct Testimony
Learn with the Office of Energy Management
Would you like to learn more about energy issues and how they impact your business, your home, the City, and the World? Do you have a research idea, capstone project, or need to accelerate a new venture? The Office of Energy Management has worked with community members to give presentations on different energy topics, such as solar energy, for homeowners’ associations, offices, and schools; partnered with Universities to provide projects for student capstones and research; and much more. The Office of Energy Management welcomes Alexandria residents, Alexandria businesses, startups, universities, and others to contact the Office if you are interested in learning more or have an idea to propose. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org