State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Raleigh, NC

26.50Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
5 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Raleigh’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan includes citywide climate and energy policy items.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for municipal operations.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

The 2030 Comprehensive Plan includes a goal to meet 20% of citywide peak load with renewable energy resources.

Last updated: March 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

In 2007, Raleigh City Council established a goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption by 20 percent from 2006 levels for the city fleet. The City of Raleigh’s policy on purchasing energy efficient vehicles is noted in the City’s Operating Budget Manual. The policy states that the City will purchase of lease the most energy efficient vehicles possible. Approximately 30% of the city’s public fleet is equipped with GPS technology to increase efficiency in its use. Raleigh’s fleet is composed of 6.6% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles.

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 85% of Raleigh’s streetlights have been converted.

Green Building Requirements 

The 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 the following: New Construction (1) 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). A higher equivalent rating (Gold or Platinum) should be sought where practical and as funding is available. (2) All City of Raleigh construction and additions encompassing less than 10,000 square feet of building area would not seek LEED Silver level.

Last updated: March 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

The Engineering Services Department, Facilities and Operations Division utilizes Periscope, an energy management software and dashboard to internally present electric energy consumption and cost information in a comprehensible and comparative format for over 95 percent of the City’s electric utility bills. The Facilities and Operations Division is in the process of finalizing dashboards for internal stakeholders to view consumption and cost information. The City's Capital Improvement Program analyzes major facility and equipment needs, establishes priorities, estimates fiscal resources, and schedules the development of funded projects.

Public Workforce Commuting

Raleigh offers telework options for city employees.

Last updated: March 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 2 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Raleigh has not adopted a sustainability or climate action plan, but the city’s Planning Raleigh 2030 comprehensive plan outlines several sustainability actions the city will pursue.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a quantitative greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal, but Planning Raleigh 2030 states the intention of the city to seek greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

The city has conducted two greenhouse house gas inventories.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide energy reduction goal for the city.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a quantitative community-wide renewable energy goal for the city, but the city has released a renewable energy overview. The overview identified opportunities and provided recommendations for Raleigh to increase the city’s renewable energy capacity.

Energy Data Reporting

The city’s 2014 greenhouse gas inventory includes emissions from community-wide energy use.

Last updated: June 2019

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether permanent city staff have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting outreach for multiple clean energy initiatives to marginalized groups compared with outreach to other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Accountability to Equity

We were unable to determine whether the city has adopted specific goals, metrics, or protocols to track how multiple energy, sustainability, or climate action initiatives are affecting local marginalized groups. 

Last updated: June 2019

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems, but Planning Raleigh 2030 includes action items that state the intention to promote on-site renewable energy, community-supported energy sources, and cogeneration.

Last updated: June 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

Planning Raleigh 2030 includes a goal to maintain tree canopy coverage along 50% of all sidewalk planting strips.

 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.

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 8 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Raleigh enforces the state’s energy codes. The city has established a comprehensive energy code compliance process. Raleigh has not adopted a mandatory benchmarking and disclosure policy. The city offers grants for energy efficiency improvement projects.

Last Updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of North Carolina requires local jurisdictions to comply with the state mandated building energy codes. All buildings must comply with the 2018 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code, which is less stringent than the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the ASHRAE 90.1-2007. 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. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 63.6. Raleigh has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in commercial building energy codes.


Residential construction in Raleigh complies with the North Carolina Codes. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 64.6. Raleigh has not yet begun advocating for increased stringency in residential building energy codes.

Solar- and EV-ready

North Carolina prohibits the city from passing an ordinance mandating new construction be solar- and/or EV-ready.

Last Updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Raleigh does not staff any full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city requires performance testing, plan reviews, and field inspections to verify code compliance. Raleigh offers upfront support via preliminary plan reviews prior to submission.

Last Updated: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

Raleigh does not have a benchmarking, rating, and disclosure policy for commercial and/or multifamily properties.


The city has not adopted a single-family benchmarking and disclosure policy. The Multiple Listing Service used by the city includes features for energy efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Raleigh offers a single grant incentive for energy efficiency projects through the Building Upfits Grant program.

Last Updated: March 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

Raleigh has not adopted a policy requiring building owners to conduct any additional above-code energy-saving actions.

Last Update: March 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The city’s Office of Sustainability ran an external green jobs training program for constructions workers affected by the Great Recession. Participants received training and education in energy auditing, solar thermal and photovoltaics, sustainable landscaping, green plumbing, and more. These programs were turned over to Wake Technical Community College and NC State in 2013.

Last Update: March 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 3.5 out of 15 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 that provides drinking water, wastewater treatment and stormwater management services for Raleigh.

Last Updated: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, according to Duke Energy Progress, they achieved 338,876 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.92% of retail sales. In 2017, PSNC Energy did not report savings on natural gas efficiency programs. These savings figures cover 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: March 2019

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. NES program staff work with local governments for involvement in kick-off events and program support.

In 2017, according to Duke Energy Progress, it achieved 1,986 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 4,873 low-income customers.

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. In 2017, according to Duke Energy Progress, it achieved 14,583 MWh in energy savings from its multifamily program, while serving 85,478 multifamily customers.

At this time, PSNC Energy does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Duke Energy currently does not provide building owners and managers with automatic benchmark data for inputting into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. 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: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, Duke Energy Progress did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems. In 2018, Duke Energy Progress launched its NC Solar Rebate Program solar, with projects installed in 2019. The program will provide $0.50 per watt incentives for nonresidential installations, $0.60 per watt incentives for residential solar installations, and $0.75 per watt for non-profit customers.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

To our knowledge, the city of Raleigh does not participate in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

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 for all combined uses and 50 gallons per capita, per day, through 2060.

Water plant 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. Under the City's current plan, the methane gas from the digesters will be cleaned and converted to compressed natural gas and service the City's bus fleet. Construction will commence in 2019. Facility design will accommodate 50 buses per day (the equivalent of 5,000 cars).

Last Updated: March 2019

Score: 8 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

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Raleigh does not have a sustainable transportation plan in place

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

Raleigh does not have a VMT/GHG target in place for the transportation sector.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Raleigh does not track progress towards its VMT/GHG targets.

 Last Updated: March 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Raleigh’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) contains a Transit Overlay District that encourages compact and mixed-use development by prohibiting a number of low density and vehicle-oriented land uses such as single-family housing and drive-through facilities. The overlay also has a minimum height requirement and allows reductions in minimum parking requirements.

Residential Parking Policies

The UDO reduces the required amount of parking for the Downtown Mixed-Use zoning district, zoning districts with Urban Frontages, the Transit Overlay District, and in contexts where parking reductions are desirable such as near transit stops. 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.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Raleigh does not have location efficiency incentives or disclosure requirements.

Last Updated: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

The city’s adopted BikeRaleigh Plan includes a goal of reaching 1.2% bicycle mode share.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Raleigh does not track progress towards its mode shift target.

Complete Streets

Raleigh’s complete streets policy scored an 56.8 out of 100 according to the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Car Sharing

We could not confirm if Raleigh has a parking policy in place for car sharing vehicles.

Bike Sharing

The city has 0 docked bike share bikes per 100,000 people.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

Raleigh spends an average of $12.20 per capita on transit.

Access to Transit Services

The city has an All Transit Performance score of 4.8 out of 10.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Raleigh does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

Raleigh does not currently offer incentives for the installing of EV charging infrastructure.

EV Charging Locations

Raleigh has 12.91 publicly available EV charging locations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

Raleigh does not have any incentives for renewable EV charging infrastructure installation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

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

Last Updated: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

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. There is also a parking reduction for affordable units in the Unified Development Ordinance.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Raleigh’s “Citrix Cycle” bikeshare program offers a discounted annual pass for low-income members. Several stations are strategically placed near major transit hubs and low-income neighborhoods to serve as a first/last mile solution for transit users.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

51.2% of low-income households (those that earn less than $50k annually) are located near high-quality, all-day transit in Phoenix.    

Last Updated: April 2019