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Mecklenburg County is taking part in Envision:Charlotte, a first-of-its-kind public-private collaboration to make commercial buildings in Charlotte’s urban core more energy efficient.

Duke Energy, Cisco and Charlotte Center City Partners today announced the creation of Envision:Charlotte, a first-of-its-kind public-private collaboration to make commercial buildings in Charlotte’s urban core more energy efficient. 

The initiative was announced this morning by former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. President Clinton was joined by Duke Energy Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, Charlotte Center City Partners CEO Michael Smith and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.

A primary focus of Envision:Charlotte is to reduce energy that is wasted in commercial buildings within Charlotte’s 1.94 square-mile I-277 inner-belt loop by using innovative
technologies to encourage energy efficiency and changes in consumer behavior. The initiative will seek to partner with the owners of approximately 60 commercial buildings who control more than 15 million square feet within the inner-loop. 

To date, business and local government leaders controlling more than 12 million square feet of space are considering participating in Envision:Charlotte.

The initiative will deploy a combination of digital smart grid and building automation technologies, as well as unique energy tracking tools, to provide building owners and office workers with near real-time information about the buildings’ collective energy use. It will also suggest specific actions office workers can take to reduce energy consumption.  

The goal of the initiative is to reduce energy use by up to 20 percent and avoid approximately 220,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases by 2016.

Another key objective of Envision:Charlotte is to build a public-private approach to energy efficiency that can be replicated in commercial buildings in cities across America. 

There is no cost to participate in Envision:Charlotte.

Commercial building owners can participate in the initiative at no cost. The energy saved is expected to eventually more than offset Duke Energy and Cisco’s estimated investment of $5.3 million to deploy the initiative, 80 percent of which will come from Duke Energy and 20 percent from Cisco.

Duke Energy and Cisco will team up with Charlotte Center City Partners and the city of Charlotte to encourage commercial building owners in uptown Charlotte to participate in Envision:Charlotte

The following are the organizations that have already been contacted and expressed interest in participating in the initiative: 

  • Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte, and controls approximately 7 million square feet. 
  • Wells Fargo, which has its eastern bank headquarters in Charlotte, and controls approximately 3 million square feet.
  • The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, which controls approximately 1.4 million square feet.
  • Duke Energy, which is headquartered in Charlotte, and controls 1.3 million square feet. 

According to the 2010 census, Charlotte has a population of more than 750,000, making it the 18th largest city in the U.S. The city’s high concentration of commercial office buildings also facilitates smart grid connectivity and consumer education on ways to reduce energy that is wasted in commercial buildings.

The Envision:Charlotte initiative builds on the Charlotte region’s economic development “energy capital USA” initiative that was announced by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, city and business leaders in April 2009. Today, the region is home to more than 175 energy companies, employing more than 13,000 people.

For more information about the initiative, go to

Find more information, resource links, photos and videos here.

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