Community Energy Planning

What is Community Energy Planning?

  • Community Energy Planning (CEP) is a process to address energy security and environmental challenges with policies and practices that systematically integrate energy efficiency, heat recovery, use of multiple energy sources including renewable energies, flexible energy distribution, transportation, and land uses to create a sustainable community 
  • CEP is often part of a comprehensive energy and climate change management process 
  • CEP Efforts in Northern Virginia have included recommendations for: 
    • World-class energy efficiency in homes, buildings, and vehicles 
    • Planning that integrates land use and efficient transportation choices 
    • District energy systems that efficiently distribute heating and cooling to multiple users 
    • Enabling efficient energy conversion and waste heat recovery 
    • Multi-fuel flexibility including renewable energies 
    • Community engagement using measurable objectives 
    • Consistent implementation over decades with widespread political support

What are the Benefits of Community Energy Planning?

  • CEP promotes regional energy security, energy efficiency, renewable energy deployment, and environmental protection
  • Community energy plans lay the foundation for a “green job” economy by promoting opportunities for sustainable construction and retrofits of homes and buildings, creating new demands for architects, engineers, construction workers, and building managers
  • Community energy plan implementation and the support for renewable energy and district energy systems will lead to investment planning, land use planning, legal and contractual management, marketing, engineering, construction and operation of both combined heat and power (CHP) systems, district energy networks, and large-scale solar photovoltaic systems
  • Regional implementation of CEP will help transform Northern Virginia into a “market of first resort” and a natural magnet for world-class companies looking to establish a foothold in the wider US market

NVRC's Involvement

  • The Northern Virginia Regional Commission leads the development and implementation of community energy planning (CEP) programs in Northern Virginia
  • NVRC develops, structures and facilitates the CEP process for localities such as Loudoun and Arlington Counties, and assists others such as Fairfax County and Falls Church with energy planning
  • Drawing from global best practices, NVRC’s CEP efforts promote large-scale energy efficiencies for new and existing homes and buildings
  • NVRC is helping communities understand how district energy systems can transform how efficiently we use energy through actions such as completing the District Energy Systems: An Analysis of Virginia Law
  • NVRC’s work has led to consideration and adoption of policies that will encourage integrated transportation, efficient urban planning and adaptation of our manmade and natural environments to climate changes
  • In July 2017 NVRC published a report entitled "Sustainable Energy Planning in Northern Virginia - 2.0" that outlined NVRC's involvement in energy related matters in the region and state; and, surfaced additional areas of focus and concern.

Contacts at NVRC