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Energy & Environmental Programs

​​​​The City of Charlotte's Neighborhood & Business Services division engages the community through a number of innovative programs, partnerships and collaborations.  The following opportunities are intended to promote increased quality of life while reducing environmental impacts.

NeighborWoods Tree Canopy Program                     

NeighborWoods is a community tree planting initiative aimed at keeping our tree canopy healthy and beautiful while achieving Charlotte's goal of having 50 percent tree canopy coverage by 2050. A collaboration between the City of Charlotte and TreesCharlotte, this community-based initiative is one strategy in a toolbox of measures intended to facilitate the planting of 15,000 trees in our community each year.  

A healthy tree canopy can:          

  • Provide energy savings
  • Contribute to clean air and water
  • Enhance property values
  • Create a sense of community
  • Improve neighborhood quality of life 
  • Educate youth and adults on tree benefits and care

Visit the links below to learn more about TreesCharlotte and the NeighborWoods Program, including how your neighborhood can participate.
About TreesCharlotte  l  Neighborwoods Program Guidelines l  How to Apply  l
Questions? Contact Denise Coleman at 704-432-4802 or drcoleman@charlottenc.gov 


Water Conservation Pilot: “Catch My Drip” Program

More than 90% of Power2 Live Green participants identified water conservation as a primary community goal within their Sustainable Vision Plan. In response, Community Engagement, Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities Department and Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services partnered with the Commonwealth-Morningside community to implement Catch My Drip, a neighborhood based Water Conservation Pilot Program.
The program’s goal was to achieve 10% reduction in household water consumption by implementing practical and low-cost conservation strategies.
Residents who participate in this program:
  • Learned how to properly read water bills
  • Received water conservation tips for homes and lawns
  • Saved money with free supplies including low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators  
  • Were eligible for up to $100 toilet replacement credit
  • Helped promote sustainable behaviors within the community
Congratulations to the Commonwealth-Morningside neighborhood for committing to reduce their water consumption! If you or your neighborhood is interested in developing and implementing practical conservation strategies click here to learn more.
View Commonwealth-Morningside and other Sustainable Vision Plans click here.

Quality of Life Explorer - Green Neighborhood Assessment Tool

The Quality of Life study began in 1993 and was intended to assess basic neighborhood indicators within Charlotte's urban "City Within a City" geography. The study data has been continually updated and in 2012 was collaboratively expanded to include Mecklenburg County and the cities and towns within its boundaries.      
The data was also expanded to include more than 80 neighborhood scale variables, 16 of which comprise a first-of-their-kind set of environmental indicators categorized as waste, water, energy, mobility and built environment. Included in these variables are household energy, natural gas and water use. Provided by our partners at Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, these indicators provide an unprecedented view of the consumption characteristics of households within the Charlotte region.
Quality of Life Explorer Interactive Dashboard  

Neighborhood Energy Challenge
The Neighborhood Energy Challenge encouraged neighbors to join forces to develop innovative and practical strategies for improving their neighborhoods' energy use. Neighborhoods were competitively selected to receive $80,000 each to carry out their energy efficiency strategies.
Innovative components included distribution of energy efficient products, bicycle rack installation, appliance replacement, educational seminars, construction of an off-the-grid community shelter and CFL/LED light bulb replacement. Additionally, the program provided home efficiency upgrades, including weatherization improvements for 270 homes that achieved an average of 18 percent increase in the energy efficiency of their building.  

    NEC Participating Neighborhoods:

  • Avenue Condos, EcoDistrict (Villa Heights, Belmont, Optimist Park), Merry Oaks, NoDa, Plaza Midwood, Spring Park and Wilmore

The program received a 2011 Sustainable Program award from the Charlotte Business Journal. Interested neighborhoods that wish to develop energy saving initiatives are encouraged to explore the Neighborhood Matching Grant Program for funding opportunities.

Power2 Live Green

This unique program awarded up to $10,000 per neighborhood to implement direct sustainability improvements while preparing for future sustainability initiatives. Participation required neighborhoods to prepare detailed proposals for implementation and applications were scored based on energy savings, community involvement, long-term sustainability and project design.   
Selected neighborhoods were required to establish Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Teams, host a community cleanup event and participate in the creation of a community-based Sustainable Vision Plan (SVP). 
The City of Charlotte partnered with Sustain Charlotte to facilitate creation of the Sustainable Vision Plans.  
    Power2 Live Green Sustainable Vision Plans:

A summary of the SVP goals can be viewed here. Congratulations to our Power2 Live Green Grant recipients for successfully completing their sustainable vision plans!

Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program (CBRetro) 
The CBRetro Program was funded in 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). All funds have been fully expended. The program assisted existing commercial buildings and multi-family apartment communities in the City's Business Corridor Revitalization Geography with increasing energy efficiency and promoting sustainable behaviors by providing partial reimbursement for energy efficiency improvements, including energy audits, insulation, lighting, HVAC, windows and doors, weatherization and solar PV.
The CBRetro program sought to increase the energy efficiency of existing structures by 15 percent or more; expand non-subsidized affordable housing options; and promote sustainable behaviors.
Program Accomplishments:

  • 14 multi-family apartment communities – 1,654 residential units retrofitted
  • 13 commercial buildings - 384,453 sq. ft. commercial building space retrofitted
  • $1.16 million public investment, leveraged $9.56 million private investment
  • More than 27,000 contractor hours worked through the second quarter of 2012
  • Contributed to the City of Charlotte's 2011 Charlotte Business Journal award for Sustainable Businesses

Commercial property owners interested in learning about other financial assistance programs to improve office, industrial and retail property should contact the Neighborhood & Business Services Economic Development Division at 704-432-1397.​ For programs that assist multi-family developments contact the Neighborhood & Business Services Housing Services Division​ at 704-336-2489.