October 6 is the deadline for VACo members to register and submit their scores for certification under the 2017 Green Government Challenge, a friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific policies and practical actions to protect the environment and promote energy efficiency by local governments and the broader communities they serve. As in years past, those qualifying with at least 100 “green” points, for completing certain action items, will be recognized at the VACo conference in November.
In this year’s Go Green Challenge there are more action items than ever, up to 73 from last year’s 55, thereby presenting additional opportunities to garner points to reach the 100 level. Many of the new items will present opportunities for VACo members to build partnerships (both public and private) to expand efforts at building more resilient communities. For example, points can be earned by participating in the FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) program, a certification process that reduces risks and damages due to flooding with the reward of lower insurance premiums for policyholders. Another example is the ability to earn points by facilitating or supporting a “solarize” initiative in your community to lower the cost of solar panel installations through bulk purchasing. More opportunities are also available in such categories as community involvement, energy efficiency, renewable energy, procurement, land use/transportation, water stewardship and waste management. The score sheet is also structured to allow applicants to earn points for innovative programs.
As with the current challenge, there will be plenty of resources and examples available on the website for each action item. For more information and to register for the challenge go to www.gogreenva.org. If you have any questions contact Joe Lerch, VACo’s Director of Local Government Policy , at Jlerch@vaco.org or by calling him at 804.343.2506.
VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP