According to the U.S. Green Building Council, energy use associated with the design, construction and occupancy of buildings accounts for over 62% of total U.S. energy consumption and 30% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The Town of Blacksburg is committed to reducing energy use in its facilities and assisting the community with implementing energy conservation measures in their homes and in the work place.
In 2003, the Town of Blacksburg became one of the first municipalities in the Commonwealth of Virginia to implement an Energy Performance Contract to install energy efficient equipment and systems in town facilities. This effort included a comprehensive retrofit of all interior lighting systems, the installation of energy efficient HVAC systems and energy management systems, the installation of programmable thermostats, and the installation of LED lights in all traffic signals town wide.
In 2004, the Town of Blacksburg joined the U.S. Green Building Council to participate in their Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program and enhance the town’s knowledge of green buildings. In 2005, the director of public works became a LEED Accredited Professional. In 2007, the Blacksburg Town Council approved a plan to renovate the Blacksburg Motor Company building in accordance with LEED green building rating system standards. This project, which integrated historic preservation with redevelopment of a contaminated brownfield site, attained a LEED Platinum rating upon completion in 2009.
In late 2006, the Town of Blacksburg signed the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the community. In 2007, energy use data was collected as part of a comprehensive community greenhouse gas inventory in support of a newly formed Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Protection & Sustainability. The town's climate action planning process is anticipated to be complete in late 2014 or early 2015.