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Fairfax Board OKs Energy Alliance

Public, private sector to team up to help the county toward "greener" pastures.

An "energy alliance" and more incentives for homeowners are among the recommendations the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Tuesday from a group charged with moving the county further towards environmental sustainability.

The county’s Private Sector Energy Task Force, which was formed by Board Chairman Sharon Bulova, presented a series of recommendations to the supervisors for how the county can achieve more energy efficiency and become a “greener” place to live.

Task Force Chair Leo Schefer, president of the Washington Airports Task Force, told the Board it should create an energy “alliance,” comprised of public and private sector members. This alliance would work with future boards to create incentives for property owners to become more environmentally conscious and sustainable.

“Energy efficiency and sustainability are key to the economic competitiveness of the County,” Bulova said. “Convening private sector corporate and institutional leaders has been critical in order to position Fairfax County as a leader in energy technology, innovation and practices.”

Bulova also directed staff to look at extending real estate tax exemptions for solar panels and equipment.

Right now, the county offers free permitting and a five-year real estate tax exemption for solar panels. Bulova wanted to know if the exemption could be stretched past five years, and if it could be extended to include an exemption for machinery and tools tax as well.

“In researching this program, I learned that only a limited number of property owners have applied for the credit – less than 20 in the last three years and fewer than that for the entire preceding decade,” Bulova said. “It appears that the existing ordinance is not well used and there may be opportunities to improve it under existing state enabling legislation."

The Task forces presentation to the Board of Supervisors can by found by clicking here.

And a full list of their recommendations and supporting materials can be found here.

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