U.S. Department of Energy Selects Envision Charlotte for $500,000 GrantMay 11, 2015 2:07 pm
Envision Charlotte has been selected as the recipient of a $500,000 grant by the United States Department of Energy. The grant is part of a $6 million investment as part of the Administration’s effort to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings and double energy productivity by 2030. Eight total projects – each designed to accelerate energy efficiency to help businesses and communities save money, create jobs, and reduce pollution – were awarded grants.
Once awarded, the grant will allow Envision Charlotte to expand its energy-saving initiatives to additional buildings within the Charlotte area. The organization will also use the grant to incorporate the Energy Department’s Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides, Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines, and Commercial Building Energy Asset Score, used in achieving substantial energy savings. Envision Charlotte will administer the grant in partnership with UNC Charlotte’s Center for Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites (SIBS), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), Charlotte Center City Partners and the City of Charlotte.
In a statement, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Dr. David Danielson said, “The Energy Department is committed to partnering with market leaders who demonstrate cutting edge energy-efficient technologies and practices in new and existing commercial buildings. These low-energy building solutions will reduce air pollution and help building owners and operators save money on their operating costs through best practices that can be replicated by others.”
Envision Charlotte was launched in 2010 as a Clinton Global Initiative by Charlotte Center City Partners and Duke Energy. Envision Charlotte announced in June 2014 that Uptown Charlotte buildings had reduced energy consumption by 8.4 percent since the initiative was launched, saving businesses an estimated $10 million or more.
“This grant announcement validates the work of Envision Charlotte and will allow us the resources to expand and continue to refine our successful programs as a model for other cities,” said Amy Aussieker, Executive Director for Envision Charlotte. “We are grateful to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy as we invest in improving commercial building energy use in Charlotte and across the world.”
“With the creation of the Energy Production & Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at UNC Charlotte, the university has assumed a national leadership role in the areas of energy and sustainability,” said Johan Enslin, Director for EPIC at UNCC. “We are excited to leverage this expertise to help Charlotte meet its aggressive goals. In addition, this new program will allow us to expand our educational offerings in this emerging area that brings together data analytics and energy.”
Representing an unprecedented alliance of major employers, building owners and managers along with municipal and technology leaders, Envision Charlotte utilizes the city’s urban core as a living laboratory to foster innovation, developing first-of-their kind programs to conserve resources and reduce operating costs throughout an existing portfolio of 61 buildings. Charlotte is among the first cities in the world to have developed a measurable program within the central business district. Envision Charlotte was named an award finalist at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona in 2014. In addition to the focus on energy reduction, Envision Charlotte is also developing programs related to water, air and waste.
“Charlotte is growing rapidly, and we are working every day to make sure we are relying on smart growth strategies, advanced technology and data to inform our decisions,” said City of Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter. “Envision Charlotte is a great example of how Charlotte pulls together partners and resources to become more sustainable, more efficient, and as a result, a more attractive and welcoming city for visitors, residents and businesses.”
“Charlotte is a leading voice in the global conversation about innovative sustainability practices in cities, and we are proud to have Envision Charlotte innovating and leading our efforts,” said Michael Smith, President and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners. “With this support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Envision Charlotte is recognized for its 21st century vision and capacity to advance our city and our country around sustainability.”
About Envision Charlotte
Envision Charlotte is a unique public-private partnership that leverages sustainability for economic growth as a model for all communities. Envision Charlotte believes environmental sustainability, when combined with a pro-business approach benefits the regional economy and is achieved through perpetual, formal stewardship of defined resources in the environment in the areas of energy, water, air and waste. The vision of Envision Charlotte is to become a global model of environmental sustainability for measurable community and economic results. Envision Charlotte and its model programs have won industry awards and been the subject of national media campaigns, news articles and a Harvard Business School case study. For more information, please visit www.envisioncharlotte.com.
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