Wireless local area networks (WLANs) are currently among the most important technologies for wireless access. Because of its higher data rate and lower monetary cost compared with cellular networks, mobile users are likely to choose WiFi when they are using mobile applications. However, keeping continuous connectivity with access points (APs) may require frequent handoffs, which may consume much energy in the handoff process. Unfortunately, most of the existing work only focused on reducing the handoff delay of IEEE 802.11-based handoffs and many handoff approaches may even increase the energy consumption of mobile nodes (MNs) in order to reduce the handoff latency. In this paper, we introduce virtual handoff (V-handoff), an energy efficiency-based handoff protocol via generating virtual access points (VAPs) in the corresponding physical access points (PAPs). The main idea of our proposed V-handoff protocol is to create an evenly spaced periodic schedule of beacon periods for all the VAPs in one virtual AP grid. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that investigates the application of the wireless virtualization technique in MN's handoff energy efficiency. Simulation results show that our proposed V-handoff protocol can significantly reduce the MN's handoff energy consumption and the average handoff delay compared with IEEE 802.11-based full scanning and selective scanning handoff protocol.