State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Raleigh, NC

27.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
2.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

Raleigh has the Sustainability Raleigh Initiative, but we could not confirm if they have an overarching plan or strategy for improving energy efficiency or greenhouse gas emissions in the city’s internal government operations. The city does, however, have standalone policies in place to increase the efficiency of public streetlights and new buildings.

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

We did not find information regarding an energy efficiency-related goal for Raleigh’s local government operations.






We did not find information detailing the frequency of public reporting on Raleigh’s energy efficiency activities.

Last updated: January 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Raleigh does not have formal fuel efficiency requirements for their public fleet vehicles. However, in 2007 Raleigh City Council established a goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption by 20 percent from 2006 levels for the city fleet. Additionally, the city has a policy to promote the purchase or lease of the most energy efficient vehicles possible that meet the needs of the department for which the vehicles are intended. Moreover, around 30% of the city’s public fleet is equipped with GPS technology to increase efficiency in its use. 

Note: For local fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing fleet efficiency. Local alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

Public Lighting

We could not confirm if Raleigh has adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. However, the city has established light and noise pollution controls that seek to minimize light pollution, glare, light trespass; conserve energy and resources while maintaining night time safety, utility, security, and productivity; and curtail the degradation of the night-time visual environment. In 2015 the city partnered with Duke Energy Progress to replace approximately 30,000 streetlights within city limits and install energy-saving LED fixtures in their place. Approximately 99 percent of the leased street light system has been upgraded with energy efficient LED fixtures. 

New Buildings and Equipment

Raleigh’s City Council adopted as policy the Environmental Advisory Board's recommendations on LEED (or the equivalent) certification for municipal buildings on May 20, 2008. The policy states that all new City of Raleigh construction and additions encompassing 10,000 gross square feet or more of building area should achieve a Silver level certification of the US Green Building Council's LEED Green Building Rating System for New Construction (LEED-NC). Nevertheless, we could not confirm if these requirements specifically emphasize completion of the energy efficiency elements of the certification. This city’s procurement policy does include energy efficiency and lifecycle cost considerations.

Last updated: January 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Raleigh does not benchmark public building energy use through ENERGY STAR or a similar tool. There is no comprehensive retrofit strategy in place in this City.  

Public Employees

We did not find data on policies to reduce the commutes of city workers, such as flex schedules and teleworking.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 2.5 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Raleigh’s Office of Sustainability leads the city’s implementation of its community-wide energy efficiency initiatives.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

Raleigh has not yet adopted community-wide energy efficiency-related goals. Raleigh’s comprehensive plan Planning Raleigh 2030 includes a Community Inventory Report that commits the city to conducting a greenhouse gas inventory and setting community-wide goals.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient Distributed Energy Systems - District Energy and Combined Heat and PowerList All

We did not find information on any programs or policies to plan for future district energy systems.   

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The city has not adopted urban heat island mitigation goals.

The city has adopted a private tree protection ordinance. The city has also allowed for conservation subdivisions as part of its Unified Development Ordinance that encourages the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns. Raleigh has not adopted policies that require or incentivize low impact development (LID) techniques.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 6.5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

Raleigh has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency. The Inspections Division of the Planning and Development Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Raleigh.

Last Updated: January 2017

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of North Carolina requires local jurisdictions to comply with the state mandated building energy codes. All buildings must comply with the 2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code, which is more stringent than the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the ASHRAE 90.1-2010. To learn more about the building codes and requirements for the State of North Carolina, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial construction in Raleigh complies with the North Carolina Codes. Raleigh has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in commercial building energy codes.


Residential construction in Raleigh complies with the North Carolina Codes. Raleigh has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in residential building energy codes.

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Raleigh does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Raleigh has made third-party plan review and performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Raleigh provides upfront support to developers and owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

The City of Raleigh does not have green building requirements for private commercial and residential buildings.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Raleigh does not yet require commercial or residential buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning.  

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

Raleigh does not currently offer incentives or financing options for energy efficiency improvements.

Last Updated: January 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Raleigh does not have mandatory or voluntary programs to encourage building benchmarking in any sector.

The Multiple Listing Service that serves the Raleigh region includes fields for energy efficiency features.

Last Updated: January 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 6 out of 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Duke Energy Progress, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving the City of Raleigh. Piedmont Natural Gas, an IOU and subsidiary of Duke Energy, is Raleigh’s primary natural gas utility. The State of North Carolina has implemented a renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standard in which levels of energy efficiency must be achieved annually by the state’s utilities through demand side programs. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the North Carolina page of the State Database.

The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department is the municipal utility which provides drinking water, wastewater treatment and stormwater management services for Raleigh.

Last Updated: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to Duke Energy Progress, they achieved 322,655 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.86% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, Duke Energy spent $48,746,226 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 1.41% of annual revenue. In 2015, Piedmont Natural Gas either did not spend or did not report spending on natural gas efficiency programs. Spending on electricity efficiency in this section covers the entire North Carolina service territory, not just Charlotte. Duke Energy Carolinas offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

At this time, the City of Raleigh does not have a formal partnership with Duke Energy Progress or Piedmont Natural Gas in the form of a jointly-developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Duke Energy Progress offers the Neighborhood Energy Saver (NES) program to qualified low-income residential customers. This program provides one-on-one energy education, on-site energy assessments, and appropriate packages of no-cost energy conservation measures in order to reduce energy consumption in low-income households. The program includes measures such as filters, AC covers, switch plate thermometers, weatherstripping, door sweeps, caulking, foam, bulbs, efficient lighting, water heater insulation and temperature adjustment, water efficiency measures, and energy savings calendars. The program is implemented by Honeywell Building Solutions in partnership with Duke Energy program staff.

In 2015, according to Duke Energy Progress, it achieved 2,896 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $1.5 million on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 4,500 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $333 and saving an average of 644 kWh.

At this time, PSNC Energy does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers.

Multifamily Programs

Duke Energy Progress offers the Multifamily Energy Efficiency Program. This program is designed to help property managers upgrade lighting with energy-efficient 13-watt CFLs and save energy by offering water measures such as bath and kitchen faucet aerators, water saving showerheads, and pipe wrap. The Program offers properties the option of direct install service by Franklin Energy crews. However, property managers also have the option of using their own property maintenance crews to complete the installations. At this time, PSNC Energy does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Duke Energy Progress has not yet committed to providing the Green Button data sharing platform to its customers. Duke Energy  currently does not provide Raleigh’s building owners and managers with automatic benchmark data for inputting into Portfolio Manager. Additionally, Duke Energy does not publically provide community aggregate data for planning and evaluation of programs. However, the City of Raleigh has worked with Duke Energy to acquire aggregated data in support of the community wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory.

Last Updated: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department offers independent water efficiency programs for customers to reduce their water usage. They offer numerous programs, such as a Water Conservation Kit at no cost and run a Showerhead Swap Out Program to promote the use of high efficiency showerheads. The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department implements water-efficient incentive programs, public education on water conservation issues, and tiered residential water rates. These efforts have resulted in a steady decline in gallons per capita consumed per day (gpcd.) The long term goal is to maintain a gpcd value of 90 or below through 2060.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

At this point, Raleigh’s Public Utilities Department has not established a specific goal for energy efficiency through municipal water operations. However, the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department has implemented several energy efficiency and conservation strategies. These efforts include the use of power management software to avoid running water plant raw water pumps during peak energy hours, installation of two solar arrays, consisting of 250 kW and 1.3 MW capacities, and the conversion from aerobic to anaerobic digestion at the Neuse River Waste Water Treatment Plant. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy. Nevertheless, the City of Raleigh is also in the design phase for the development of an anaerobic digestion facility with thermal hydrolysis and combined heat and power facilities.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The City of Raleigh does not have a discrete planning document in place with the goal of increasing investment in green infrastructure. The City does, however, have a Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development Work Plan that is in the process of being implemented with a goal of increasing the use of green infrastructure and low-impact development techniques in new development and redevelopment within the City. The Formal driving force behind this effort is the City’s Strategic Plan, under the Growth and Natural Resources section.

Last Updated: January 2017

Score: 9.5 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Raleigh is the Capital Area Transit (CAT). CAT also provides the public transportation for the city, including bus service. The Wolfline services North Carolina State University, in downtown Raleigh. Wake Coordinated Transportation Services and Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation serves the broader metropolitan area. The Capitol Area MPO (CAMPO) is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Raleigh and Wake County, as well as many surrounding towns and counties. The Public Works Department is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: December 2014

Location Efficiency List All

Raleigh has adopted the Raleigh Arena Area Master Plan & Code NC Neighborhood planning code. This is a form-based code applicable to some neighborhoods. Raleigh requires a minimum of one parking space be made available per efficiency residential unit, one space per bedroom, or two spaces per manufactured home. Raleigh requires at least one space be made available per single-family home. There are no incentives available through the city to promote location efficiency.

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

Raleigh has not yet developed targets to promote a modal shift in transportation.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There is a car sharing program available in Raleigh, zipcar. A bikesharing program, BikeRaleigh is currently in the planning stages.

Complete Streets

Raleigh adopted and codified a Complete Streets Policy in 2015.

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The CAT, NC State Transportation Department, and the Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation systems have received $35,409,982 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $27.80 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting the city in the second lowest category ($25-49) in transit funding. 

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. Raleigh’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 6, putting it in the fourth highest category (5-14) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList All

At this time, the City of Raleigh does not offer incentives to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure. The City of Raleigh has 54 EV charging stations available for public use. 

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Raleigh does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place nor does the city has any policies that address freight efficiency.

Smart freight

Raleigh does not employ an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Raleigh does not have a sustainable transportation plan in place.

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

Raleigh provides acquisition assistance for sites near transit and gap financing for Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects. Funds are also made available to acquire and preserve affordable housing at risk of being redeveloped for higher income residents.

Last updated: January 2017