Mason Completes Transformational Energy Action Plans for Virginia Communities


In a significant advancement for sustainable development, George Mason University’s Local Climate Action Planning Initiative (LCAPI) announced the completion of comprehensive Energy Action Plans (EAP) for Henry County, the City of Danville, and the City of Martinsville in Virginia.

A man in a gray suit, blue shirt, and red tie with gray temples gazes at the camera.
Paul Bubbosh: ‘These Energy Action Plans are a testament to what we can achieve together…‘ Photo by Buzz McClain/Schar School of Policy and Government

These plans, now accessible on the LCAPI website, “represent a pivotal step forward in the regional effort to embrace cleaner energy and ensure a resilient future for these communities,” said Paul Bubbosh, codirector of the LCAPI and an adjunct professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government.

The LCAPI, a collaboration between George Mason’ Schar School and the Center for Energy Science Policy (CESP) faculty and students, focuses on aiding Virginia municipalities in energy conservation, reducing costs, and bolstering community resilience against climate-related challenges. This initiative is particularly geared toward supporting vulnerable and marginalized communities across the state by helping them tap into state and federal funds for transitioning to reliable and affordable clean energy sources.

The development of the Energy Action Plans involved a meticulous three-phase process:

  • An initial research phase that involved studying the specific history and background of each municipality and identifying key stakeholders within the community.
  • A modeling phase where the university teams assessed the municipalities’ greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental and energy risk factors.
  • A community engagement phase that included public meetings with stakeholders to discuss, evaluate, and select strategic goals and actions for mitigating climate change impacts and managing rising energy costs.

These plans were crafted with close cooperation from local government officials and community members, alongside George Mason’s student teams, which brought together expertise from science, policy, and communication disciplines. The collaborative nature of this initiative has not only fostered a sense of shared responsibility but has also highlighted the practical applications of academic knowledge in real-world scenarios.

“George Mason University is committed to extending our educational and research resources to serve the community, especially those areas that are most in need,” Bubbosh said. “These Energy Action Plans are a testament to what we can achieve together: innovative solutions to urgent climate and energy challenges, improved air quality, and stronger, more resilient communities.”

The program is designed not to just be sustainable but replicable.

“As these newly developed plans take effect, they promise not only to reduce energy costs and lower emissions but also to serve as models for other regions aiming for sustainable development,” he said.

The ongoing efforts by Mason signify a proactive approach to environmental stewardship and community engagement, setting a benchmark for academic institutions nationwide.