For the eighth year, the VAEEC honored individuals, organizations, and companies for their energy efficiency achievements. Our Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards launched in 2016 at the recommendation of Governor McAuliffe’s Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency, to showcase how energy efficiency champions across the Commonwealth are helping businesses, governments, homeowners, and schools save money on energy bills, reduce energy consumption, and stimulate job growth and our economy.
New this year, everyone who participated in the inaugural Energizing Efficiency Campaign was considered for a Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Award. As in previous years, this was a competitive process, which highlights the great work being accomplished in the Commonwealth. We would like to thank every group that shared their story with us. It is your stories and achievements that help us talk with legislators and other decision-makers about the importance of the energy efficiency industry in Virginia.
Case studies for all participants in the 2023 Energizing Efficiency Campaign, including the five who received the 2023 Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Award can be viewed on the VAEEC campaign page.
2023 Award Winners
- Energy Management Program
- Awarded to Fairfax County Public Schools
- Center of Developing Entrepreneurs (CODE) Building
- Awarded to 2RW Consultants
- Energy Retrofits at Cub Run & South Run Recreation Centers
- Awarded to Fairfax County’s Park Authority and Office of Environmental & Energy Coordination, Washington Gas, and CMTA
- Energy Efficiency Grant Program Through the American Rescue Plan Act
- Awarded to Danville Utilities
Energy Management Program
Awarded to Fairfax County Public Schools
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is the largest public school system in Virginia with 235 facilities totaling 28 million square feet. In 2014, FCPS initiated a system of practices to create a culture of energy performance awareness. This Energy Management Program used quantitative tools tracking energy use and cost savings to inform decision making practices based on energy conservation. Energy Education Specialists are the FCPS employees tasked with involving all members of the FCPS Energy Education Team to ensure efficient and effective stewardship of public resources (both economic and environmental) by continually striving to reduce district energy use and cost without negatively impacting health and safety, the educational environment, or productivity. The FCPS Energy Education Team includes all students, staff, parents, and other community members who make up the totality of individuals who utilize FCPS sites. The cultural shift to energy conservation has resulted in tangible outcomes, including conserving energy, thereby reducing cost, developing and maintaining effective monitoring, reporting, and management strategies for efficient energy usage, utilizing instrumentation to monitor indoor air quality, and, improved comfort and safety.
The energy tracking software, EnergyCAP, allows FCPS to benchmark and analyze utility bills, providing an understanding of all necessary data points to manage energy consumption, reduce carbon footprint, and drive savings. The numbers show how deeply woven and progressive the energy conservation program is at FCPS.
Energy consumption has systematically reduced during the period 2014 to 2022, from 314 million Kwh to 262 million Kwh, and from 7 million therms to 5 million therms. This energy efficiency has resulted in a cost avoidance of over $74 million. The Energy Reduction Impact is over 3,000,000,000 KBtu, and over 240,000 metric tons of CO2e. This is equivalent to over 6 million seedlings grown for 10 years.
Center of Developing Entrepreneurs (CODE) Building
Awarded to 2RW Consultants
The Center of Developing Entrepreneurs (CODE) building project is a seven-story commercial development that addresses the rising need for flexible, environmentally responsible working environments to support entrepreneurial activity in Central Virginia. Driven by the growing demand for sustainable workplaces, this innovative project was designed with a commitment to energy efficiency and the welfare of its occupants. Design choices were informed by a careful integration of design process, energy modeling, and an ongoing assessment of the carbon emissions associated with the materials used for construction, helping the team lower the carbon footprint of the project even before the building opened.
The sustainable MEP/FP design not only enhances energy efficiency but also increases fresh air exchange and natural ventilation, resulting in a healthier and more comfortable environment for occupants. Energy modeling predicted a 46% energy utilization reduction compared to the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 baseline. The building ventilation system provides more than twice the standard flow of fresh air—but with an energy use 1/3 that of a typical office building. Essential to these savings were the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection design strategies, incorporating high-efficiency HVAC systems, a heat recovery chiller system, rainwater harvesting, an advanced BAS with localized demand limiting, and high-efficiency LED lighting.
Energy Retrofits at Cub Run & South Run Recreation Centers
Awarded to Fairfax County’s Park Authority and Office of Environmental & Energy Coordination, Washington Gas, and CMTA
The Fairfax County Park Authority aims to inspire a passion for parks, healthy lifestyles, and stewardship by providing a sustainable, dynamic, and inclusive park system to support a thriving community. Fairfax County’s Recreation Centers are an essential part of this mission. These two locations are of differing size and age, but the pools, fitness rooms, indoor gathering spaces, and outdoor activity facilities are an invaluable resource to the residents of the county, making them prime candidates for energy efficiency improvements and cost savings.
In 2020, the County’s Office of Environmental & Energy Coordination (OEEC) engaged energy service company CMTA to conduct Technical Energy Audits at multiple locations. These audits include an inspection of the building envelope and roof, as well as the air distribution, heating, cooling, and lighting equipment. As a result, multiple energy conservation measures (ECMs) were identified and prioritized by maximizing energy savings and cost effectiveness, while minimizing disruption to the centers’ day-to-day operations.
The Fairfax County Park Authority and the OEEC also worked with the Washington Gas Business Energy Solutions: Virginia Program to apply for incentives to replace their old boilers. Washington Gas offers financial incentives to help customers in Virginia offset the upfront cost of purchasing and installing energy-efficient gas equipment, such as boilers, water heaters, furnaces, programmable thermostats, and commercial kitchen equipment.
In the six months since the project’s completion in November 2022, Cub Run has realized over 50% savings (8,000,000 kBtu reduction in energy consumption) and South Run is at 45% savings (3,295,000 kBtu reduction) compared to the same period in the previous year. Cub Run and South Run Rec Centers are on track to exceed the guaranteed energy reductions of 30% and 15% and achieve energy use intensities of 355.9 and 278.3 respectively.
These improvements save not only energy and money but also ensure a comfortable environment for Fairfax County residents in any activities they choose to take part in. Given the successes realized at these locations, similar projects have since started at other county Rec Centers.
Energy Efficiency Grant Program Through the American Rescue Plan Act
Awarded to Danville Utilities
Aging equipment and poor insulation have long been a cause of excessive energy consumption in homes in the Danville Utilities service area. The City of Danville assigned to Danville Utilities one million dollars towards improving efficiency in homes that were high consumers of energy. The goal was to assist customers with getting new HVAC equipment and/or insulation depending on the needs. By replacing these systems, greater energy efficiency would be achieved and would ultimately help the customer save on utility bills.
Danville Utilities reviewed the monthly consumption of residential accounts and put together a list of customers that had high energy consumption relative to the size of their house. Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority (DRHA) sent applications to the identified customers and the Danville Department of Social Services further culled the list to those who were in most need of assistance by using demographics and scoring factors such as age of residents. DRHA then examined the age and condition of HVAC units as well as assessing the existing insulation to determine what areas needed improvement and provided project management for each home. Any costs associated with the improvements were paid to DRHA to be distributed to the contractors providing the services.
Currently, a total of 56 home efficiency projects have been completed by this program. Of these homes, 37 received both new HVAC equipment and insulation. An additional 13 received insulation only, six had new HVAC installed, and one had an existing HVAC repaired. This has undoubtedly resulted in improved comfort and safety for these homeowners and their families who would have otherwise not had the means to make these improvements to their homes.
Of the 56 completed homes, Danville currently has one-year historical data for 10 of these homes. The total realized energy savings from these ten homes is 83,023 kWh over the course of one year. To put that into perspective, that is enough energy to power seven average U.S. homes for an entire year.