The county is taking action to meet its goal of achieving carbon neutrality in government operations by 2040 by pursuing energy efficiency upgrades in buildings, installing solar panels on county facilities, transitioning more of the vehicle fleet to electric models and participating in utility pilot programs to explore vehicle-to-building energy storage with electric school buses.
The county is also working to help equip the broader community with more electric vehicle charging infrastructure through our Charge Up Fairfax initiative to help residents of homeowners associations and condominium owners associations access charging for electric vehicles. The Green Business Partners program recognizes and connects companies already implementing sustainability best practices or looking to improve in this area.
Morrill emphasized the importance of trees in our climate resilience strategy, citing their ability to reduce heat, energy use, stormwater runoff and erosion.
“I like to say that trees trump solar,” Morrill said. “If you have a beautiful tree in your yard and you’ve got a roof and you’re like, well, I’d really like to put solar up there — don’t cut the tree to put in the solar.”
The podcast covered many other topics related to our sustainability efforts, including the pursuit of LEED green building certification, the multifaceted Resilient Fairfax plan to prepare communities for climate change impacts and consumer carbon footprint awareness.
Morrill encouraged county residents to “know your carbon footprint” by using EPA emissions calculators, improve home insulation, consider greener transportation options and sign up for the OEEC newsletter to stay informed about sustainability initiatives and funding opportunities.
OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY COORDINATION
The Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination leads the county’s interdepartmental activity on environmental and energy plans, policies and programs, including climate action and resiliency. The office was established in July 2019 and engages with county departments, authorities, businesses and residents to effectively advance these policies and programs. The OEEC’s three primary focus areas include community climate planning and programs, energy management, and sustainability and innovation.
CONNECT WITH THE COUNTY LEADERS PODCAST
The “Connect with County Leaders” podcast is a monthly opportunity to meet and connect with Fairfax County leaders, to learn about the latest county news and information, and hear more on specific programs and services in Fairfax County.
Listen or watch past episodes of “Connect with County Leaders” on SoundCloud, on YouTube and on Channel 16’s podcast on demand page. For other Fairfax County podcasts, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/podcasts, and for additional audio content, tune in to Fairfax County Government Radio at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/radio.