Do Your Part, Be Energy Smart

 
Energy Conservation starts with taking practical and effective steps.  It is as simple as turning off the lights or other electrical devices when they are not being used.  Look for ways to conserve!  Change your bulbs to more efficient models.  Change your habits to be more aware of energy use and in the end, you’ll save money too!  Explore ways to use energy more effectively.  Look for alternatives.
   
Make a Difference At Home
 
·         Shut down computers at night
·         Replace traditional bulbs with more efficient models
·         Turn off electrical devices and lights when you leave the room
·         Unplug appliances when not in use
·         Print only when necessary
·         Create electronic files for documents rather than paper files
·         Change filters in heating and cooling systems for optimal performance
·         Move your thermostat two degrees down in winter and up in summer
·         Choose clothing to keep you warm rather than turning up the heat
·         Draw curtains to reduce cold air from entering your home in the winter
·         Draw shades and curtains to block the hot rays of the sun
·         Change the time you wash dishes and clothes to times when there is less demand for electricity in the community, such as later in the evening or early morning
 
Make a Difference At Work Too!
 
  • Help save energy.  Look for ways to conserve!
  • By saving money on energy bills, we preserve money for staff and services!
  • We must all participate in order to realize a reduction in energy use and savings in costs!
Take Action
 
  • Shut down your computer at night.
  • Replace traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs.
  • Remind the last one out to ensure everything is shut down and turned off before they leave.
  • Share electrical appliances such as coffee makers and toasters
  • Print only when necessary.
  • Create electronic files for documents rather than paper files.
Change Your Habits
 
  • Move your thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer OR support organization efforts to adjust the thermostat to conserve energy, reduce emissions and save money.
  • Rather than a space heater, choose clothing to keep you warm.
  • Rather than a fan, dress in lighter clothing and keep water at your desk.
  • Use email, teleconferencing and phone calls rather than meetings when it makes sense.
  • Choose email or a phone call rather than printed mail when possible.
  • Provide e-Services to customers when possible.
  • Plan trips to reduce driving time and combine errands or stops
Prince William County does its part!

 

Prince William County Government is implementing several programs to wisely use energy resources.  We are also exploring a variety of strategies and alternative sources of energy. 
 
The County received grant funding to implement major energy efficiency and improvement programs at three of our facilities.  These programs will conserve energy, save money and provide efficiencies in lighting and cooling/heating.
 
At the County Landfill, staff is capturing methane gas to generate electricity.  This helps support the community’s need for energy.  In addition, we provide heating and energy to nearby County facilities.
 
Staff is now exploring ways to expand our capacity to generate more electricity and provide heating to more facilities.
Look inside to discover the County’s efforts to explore and use a variety of innovative energy solutions.
 
Care About Cleaner Air
 
Prince William County is creating a baseline of greenhouse gas emissions from our buildings, fleet and landfill operations.  This will allow us to determine the best steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our operations.  We will also create a strategy for future reductions of emissions.
 
In addition, we have taken steps to reduce emissions from our fleet vehicles.  County employees are changing their habits to drive smarter by planning their trips, idling less and following environmentally sound driving practices such as reducing speed and watching tire pressure. 
 
Staff works with Fleet Management to select the most fuel efficient vehicles for their work requirements.  We are also sharing cars through a motor pool system. 
 
The County also monitors local weather conditions as we plan projects.  On poor air quality days, we avoid projects that require products that produce fumes or emissions.  This also protects the health of our employees.
We encourage you to take precautions on poor air quality days.  Avoid painting, mowing, and working with fumes on hot sticky days.  Fill your car early in the morning or in the evening.  This protects air quality and helps protect your health!
 
Green Up
 
Prince William County is striving to go green in our offices and facilities.  We are looking to conserve energy, reduce our fuel use, recycle more and waste less.
 
Future construction projects will include national standards to help make our buildings go green.  Our buildings will feature smart energy systems, environmentally sound heating and cooling, natural lighting, eco-friendly building materials and recycled products. 
 
Staff is also looking to use environmentally sound practices and products during maintenance, renovations and upgrades.  We will select high efficiency lighting and HVAC equipment, water saving devices such as waterless urinals, light sensors, recycling systems and eco-friendly paint and carpet.
 
Prince William County encourages residents and businesses to seek environmentally friendly choices when you are maintaining or renovating your home or offices.  We also hope you will start or expand your recycling efforts. 
 
Renewable Energy
 
Prince William County is actively exploring renewable energy sources for our community.  This allows us to take advantage of alternatives to fossil fuel.
 
We are installing a small solar system on the roof of the McCoart Administrative Building as a teaching tool.  It will provide a pilot for us to examine other alternative systems. 
 
We also have information to help residents and businesses install solar systems. 
 
Wind Energy
 
Prince William County purchased electric power generated by wind energy for three years from 2008 to 2010.  This gave us credits from the Federal Government to fulfill requirements to seek other sources of energy. 
 
Today, we continue to explore wind energy as a source, including opportunities to set up wind turbines right here in our County.
 
Geothermal Energy
 
Prince William County is piloting the use of geothermal energy at two of our historic sites, Rippon Lodge and Brentsville Courthouse.  This source of energy allows us to heat and cool these unique historic structures by tapping into a constant source of energy from beneath the ground.  It also reduced the amount of equipment needed so we could keep the old buildings intact. 
 
Methane Gas
 
Prince William County is capturing the methane gas created at the landfill as an energy source.  The methane is a by-product of the trash breaking down or decomposing.  By capturing the gas, we prevent contamination of the ground, air or water. 
 
The gas is channeled to a steam turbine where electricity is generated.  Initially, we generated electricity equivalent to the amount needed for 2,000 homes.  We are striving to generate enough for 5,000 homes.
 
Landfill gas is also used to heat the Fleet Management facility and the incinerator at the Animal Shelter.  In time, staff hopes to provide a heating source for other nearby County facilities. 
 
As we learn about new opportunities, the County will explore the creation of an energy park at the landfill.  This will include solar panels and possibly wind turbines.  Other features may include a greenhouse and other projects that can utilize the existing methane gas. 
 
Use of methane gas reduces our dependency on non-renewable energy sources, provides power locally so it does not have to be transmitted and reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
  
Reaching Our Energy Goal
 
Prince William County is committed and willing to do the work to be good stewards of our natural resources.  To that end, staff has taken several steps and implemented a number of programs to fulfill that commitment:
 
§         Earned Energy Star rating for the Ferlazzo Government Building
§         Joined the United States Green Building Council
§         Utilize energy efficient and dark sky compliant outdoor fixtures
§         Run generators for County facilities during regional energy supply emergencies to avoid blackouts
§         Creating policies and practices to create a Green Fleet
§          Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
 
Energy Improvements at Three County Facilities
 
With approximately $3.25  million in federal grant dollars, Public Works increased energy efficiency at the McCoart Administrative Building, Western District Police Station and the Judicial Center.  Staff and an energy consultant    assessed the buildings and determined systems and equipment that would improve the energy use and savings at all three buildings.  All the buildings have been outfitted with energy efficient heating and cooling systems.  Lighting systems have been replaced with more efficient systems.  In addition, a small solar panel system has been placed on the roof of McCoart to generate clean energy from the sun. 
 
County staff will be able to access information about the enhanced energy systems and energy use in the buildings online, as well as receive tips on ways they can help conserve energy through their actions.
 

 See the light. Turn it off.

 

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 Energy Conservation Tips

 

Think about your energy use and make changes to use it more wisely.

Make simple changes like powering down computers or turning off lights when not in use to reduce energy use and save money.

Change your habits to reduce your energy needs.

 

 In the Works!

 

The Department of Public Works is actively pursuing new and innovative opportunities to reduce our energy use.

  1. Working with experts, we are looking to maximize our efficiency in energy use in County facilities.
  2. Seeking ways to calculate, monitor and reduce emissions from County energy use.
  3. Create an Energy Improvement Plan for the County government.
  4. Expand use of methane gas resources at the County landfill.
  5. Build energy efficienty facilities.
  6. Serve as a resource for citizens and businesses on ways to increase energy efficiency.