Roanoke, the largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia west of Richmond, is located at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley. With a population of 97,000, Roanoke serves as the principal trade, industrial, transportation, medical and cultural center of western Virginia.
The City of Roanoke has received two Platinum Awards for sustainability from the Virginia Municipal League for successfully implementing environmental policies and taking practical actions to reduce carbon emissions. Roanoke also had a first place finish for the “Outstanding Municipal Recycling Performance” sponsored by the Virginia Recycling Association. Additionally, Roanoke’s Citizens for Clean & Green Committee sponsored three separate sessions of the City of Roanoke Green Academy, a 15-hour overview of energy conservation, weatherization, renewable energy, storm water, wastewater, local foods and local government initiatives offered to the community.
Roanoke seeks to reduce building energy intensity by at least 20% by 2022. To achieve this, the city will focus on updating/retrofitting HVAC systems and lighting. Some of these projects include: continuing lighting upgrades in fire stations, libraries and recreation centers; installing direct digital controls in numerous buildings; installing plate exchangers to obtain cooling without electric powered mechanical chillers; designing and installing a solar panel array to recharge batteries thus reducing the total number of alkaline batteries used; and installing a magnetic chiller and new lighting at The Berglund Center. Additionally, Roanoke has begun a program titled Energy Reduction Initiative for Businesses which encourages businesses to track and reduce their energy consumption. Roanoke benchmarks data for the 25 buildings in their portfolio utilizing the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The intent is to collect this information, share results (as appropriate) and create an ongoing dialogue about best practices related to energy efficiency.