Charlotte, North Carolina, is challenging residents to save cash and carbon with green home retrofits, and putting its money where its mouth is. Winning neighborhoods were recently announced in the city’s Neighborhood Energy Challenge, which will place $2,000 per household for eco home improvement at the disposal of homeowners in seven Charlotte neighborhoods.
The Neighborhood Energy Challenge will grant a total of $80,000 per neighborhood to Avenue Condos (Uptown); Eco District (Belmont, Optimist Park, Villa Heights); Merry Oaks; NoDa; Plaza Midwood; Spring Park; and Wilmore to implement their energy action plans, which include home audits, public transit incentives, bicycle education programs/bike rack installations, solar lighting replacements, and conservation workshops.
The Individual Home Benefit through the program is $2,000 per household. Each household may receive weatherization and energy upgrades that include advanced insulation, sealing of the building envelope, and HVAC/ductwork. The benefit includes a comprehensive energy audit, which helps to pinpoint which upgrades will be the most critical in increasing the home’s energy efficiency.
Energy Smart Homes was already awarded a contract with the Challenge to audit and retrofit homes in the NoDa, Ecodistrict areas, and now will provide services through the Challenge in the Wilmore and Plaza Midwood neighborhoods as well.
The plan is to create baseline energy data and energy action plans at the neighborhood level, then to make the data available citywide in the future so that all neighborhoods can use it to reduce their energy consumption.