Every year, Charlottesville residents and businesses spend over $50 million on utility bills for electricity and gas; approximately half is from the residential sector. From 2000-2011, the largest increases in energy use were seen from the residential sector, and energy costs and demand are anticipated to continue increasing.
Additionally, City Council has set goals to reduce the emissions from our energy use and to increase the affordability of housing in the city. As such, Energize!Charlottesville is an initiative aligned with the 2013 Comprehensive Plan Chapter 7, Goal 5 and 6. It is aligned with City Council’s “A Green City” Vision and Goal 2 of the recently adopted Strategic Plan. Strategies described on this website are anticipated to be further developed, expanded, and adjusted in collaboration with community partners as successes are achieved and additional resources become available.
The proposed Energize!Charlottesville campaign aims to:
- Support and encourage voluntary actions by our residents, businesses, and organizations
- Reinforce that there are energy savings actions that anyone can take and include strategies of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and onsite renewable energy generation
- Reduce the annual $50+ million residents and businesses spend on electricity and natural gas
- Address the documented increases of energy use in the residential sector, the sector of greatest increase from 2000-2011 at 13.5%
- Focus on 80% of our residential units (~50% single family; ~30% apartment/multi-family)
- Engage our community’s rental population (including the ~9,000 university students living off-grounds in the City), multi-family and single-family property owners, and the building stock for lower income housing, public housing, City schools, and local government
- Increase the affordability of housing by addressing the operational costs
- Improve the quality of our neighborhoods’ building stock
- Create a forum for discussion and consideration of needed longer term policies and resources