Seven Charlotte neighborhoods, ranging from a high-rise uptown condos to a suburban subdivision, have been selected to receive $80,000 in grants as part of the city's Neighborhood Energy Challenge Grant program. That program is one of 17 projects to be paid with a $6.5 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant the City of Charlotte won from the U.S. Department of Energy. The idea is to approach energy conservation efforts at a neighborhood level.
The neighborhoods are: The Avenue condos (210 N. Church St. uptown), the "EcoDistrict" (Villa Heights, Belmont, Optimist Park neighborhoods), Merry Oaks in east Charlotte, the NoDa neighborhood just northeast of uptown, Plaza-Midwood just east of uptown, Wilmore south of uptown and Spring Park in northeast Charlotte.
Daria K. Milburn, community energy conservation coordinator in the city's Neighborhood & Business Services department, says projects include bike rack installations, neighborhood light-bulb and shower-head swaps (where you turn in your old ones and get new ones that save electricity or water), promoting alternative transportation such as transit and bicycling. Spring Park is going to try to integrate solar power into street lighting. The Avenue will use different lighting in its parking garage to cut its electricity usage by about half. All their applications included education/awareness campaigns, she said.
Want to read more? Here's the memo on the project that went out to City Council members.