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Recent Budget Actions Advance Council’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035
The City Council advances on pursuit of 2035 sustainability goals with recent budget actions by funding a new Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, purchasing new Police hybrid vehicles, and supporting an Energy Services Contract for government and school buildings.
The new Environmental Sustainability Coordinator position has been advertised and recruitment is underway. When hired, this individual will work with the Public Works Department and be dedicated to important environmental efforts, including: renewable energies, sustainable design and construction, water efficiency, waste to energy recycling, stormwater management and more. This important role is essential to coordinating efforts throughout City Departments and agencies, and in engaging local businesses and citizens to build a holistic network of sustainability practices, opportunities, and in pursuing grants and funding partnerships. Utilizing this position, the City will begin to more robustly make strides in providing a comprehensive and organized response to climate change and resources conservation.
Additionally, the Fredericksburg Police Department has received the green light to purchase nine hybrid electric vehicles this calendar year. They are being acquired after a recommendation from the Virginia Clean Cities (VCC) fleet analysis report, which indicated hybrid electric vehicles may provide the desired balance of readiness, reliability and fuel savings. This report also estimates a dramatic reduction of roughly 55% in carbon emissions from each new vehicle. The full VCC Electrify Virginia Fleet Analysis is available online.
These energy efficient vehicles will comprise nearly 25% of the Police Department’s fleet, and is serving as the pilot project for the rest of the City’s hybrid vehicle solutions. The Department will seek to transition their fleet to fully hybrid, which will further reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions over time.
Evaluating potential improvements in the City’s government buildings and schools is also key to improving energy efficiency and conservation in Fredericksburg. The City and the Schools are currently in the process of contracting with a qualified energy services company to assist with evaluating potential improvements to City and School facilities. Known as an Energy Services Contract (ESCO), this contract would take advantage of future savings from energy efficiency improvements to help finance the up-front costs of the improvements to city buildings. The City and Schools have consulted with officials of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, who have state-wide experience with these type of contracts.
“This City/Schools partnership is a model Commonwealth of Virginia example of good stewardship. We also hope to learn from the forward leaning efforts of the Fredericksburg Police Department as they lead the way on the City’s alternative fuel vehicles. These cost saving and environmentally sensitive approaches are just the beginning as the City of Fredericksburg becomes increasingly aggressive in green initiatives in order to live Council’s Vision,” said City Manager Tim Baroody.
The City’s commitment to a Clean and Green Fredericksburg is clear in that City Council adopted a 100% Renewable Energy Resolution in December 2019 and committed to the goal of powering municipal operations with 100% renewable energy by 2035. The City is committed to achieving these aggressive goals with the exceptional partnership with the Clean and Green Committee, Tree Fredericksburg, and Fossil Free Fredericksburg, among others.