The recent Virginia General Assembly session included many bills advancing electric vehicles in the Commonwealth. These historic bills garnered large amounts of well-deserved press coverage. Not as well-known is the High Performance Buildings Act, which requires state and local government buildings to be constructed or renovated to include electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This important law takes effect on July 1, 2021.
As more governments add EVs to their fleets and more commuters use EVs, this law helps agencies get ahead of the curve. In addition, state and local agencies will be expected to work on tracking energy efficiency and carbon emissions from their buildings.
The law’s high performance building certification program is a public building design, construction and renovation program that meets the requirements of the Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards. These standards were developed in consideration with the U.S. Green Building Council (LEED) green building ratings.
Local governments are authorized by the law to adopt even more stringent requirements. For localities with populations under 100,000, an amendment has been added to give them more time with an effective date in 2023.
Agencies are to submit an annual report to the Governor each year detailing their energy-efficiency and carbon emissions metrics for each building built or renovated. The High Performance Buildings Act enables state and local agencies to begin leading the way in electrification infrastructure in the Commonwealth.