State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Raleigh, NC

49.00Scored out of 250Updated 05/2024
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 6.5 out of 45 points
Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The City of Raleigh's City Council adopted a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 2007 levels by 2050. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis.

The city has conducted two greenhouse house gas inventories.

Energy Efficiency 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.

Last updated: August 2023

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether relevant decision-makers have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting engagement for multiple clean energy initiatives with marginalized groups compared to engagement with 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.

Equity Accountability Measures

The city created an equity impacts tool to inform the development of the Community Climate Action Plan. 

Last updated: August 2023

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList 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.

Last updated: August 2023

Adaptive Mitigation List All

Heat Island Mitigation Policies and Programs

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.

Resilience Hubs

We were unable to determine if the city has supported the creation of resilience hubs that incorporate clean energy resources and are sited in disadvantaged communities.

Last updated: August 2023

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Workforce development for disadvantaged workers

We could not determine if city has partnered with a local education institution, labor union, or community-based organization to create, support, and/or incentivize the development of clean energy workforce development initiatives that target training and support services for potential or existing workers from disadvantaged communities to obtain and keep in-demand jobs.

Workforce development for the broader community

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.

Outcomes tracking

We could not determine if the city has instituted a mechanism to measure the performance and/or success of equitable workforce development initiatives focused on the clean energy sector.

Last updated: August 2023

Buildings Policies
Score: 3 out of 70 points
Building 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 2018 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code, which is less stringent than the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The city does not advocate for more stringent state energy codes. 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 its commercial energy code is 54.75. 


Residential construction in Raleigh complies with the North Carolina Codes. The city’s zEPI score for its residential energy code is 64.79. 


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

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies 

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

Low-energy use requirements

Raleigh established Energy Efficient Building Standards that require LEED Silver certification for all new city construction and additions encompassing 10,000 gross square feet or more. 

Electrification policies

North Carolina prohibits the city from adopting electrification policies.

Last Update: September 2023

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList 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 and requires building code officials to complete energy code training

Last Update: September 2023

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


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

Last Update: September 2023

Score: 14.5 out of 70 points
Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Raleigh's Community Climate Action Plan was released in 2021 and includes sustainable transportation strategies. 

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

The City of Raleigh does not have a codified VMT or transportation GHG reduction target. 

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City of Raleigh does not have a codified VMT or transportation GHG reduction target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target. 

 Last Updated: September 2023

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

In 2021, Raleigh modified its zoning code to allow developments with 3+ units in single-family zones, as well as created a transit-oriented development overlay district. 

Parking Requirements

Raleigh has eliminated parking minimums citywide. 

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

The City of Raleigh does not have location-efficient development incentives or disclosure policies. 

Affordable Housing around Transit

The city incentivizes affordable housing near transit by providing affordable housing developments with preference in gap financing/loans from the city’s Rental Development Program if they are within 0.5 miles of a transit stop. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

The City of Raleigh only has a mode share target for biking and this target is only for commute trips; therefore, the city did not earn points for this metric. 

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

The City of Raleigh does not have a codified mode share target, and therefore cannot make progress toward the target. 

Subsidized Access to Efficient Transportation Options

The City of Raleigh provides a discount on their e-scooter bike share service. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Public Transit List All

Transit Funding

The transit entities that serve the City of Raleigh have received $38,228,448.00 on average annually between 2017 and 2021 from local sources. That equates to roughly $80.64 per capita between 2017 and 2021 within the service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The AllTransit Performance Score measures a given community's transit access and performance. The score considers connections to other routes, access to jobs, service frequency, and the percent of commuters who ride transit to work. The City of Raleigh’s AllTransit Performance Score is 4.9, scoring 0 points in the City Scorecard. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

Neither the City of Raleigh nor the local utility provide incentives for purchasing efficient vehicles. 

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

Duke Energy offers a $1133 rebate for single-family homes to install level 2 chargers, and up to $1605 for multi-family properties to install a level 2 charger. 

Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Requirements

The City of Raleigh does not require new developments to install EV charging stations. 

EV Charging Ports

The City of Raleigh has 43.1 vehicle charging ports per 100,000 people available for public use. 

Electric School Bus Goal

Neither the City of Raleigh nor the local school district have set an electric school bus goal. 

EV Transit Bus Goal

Neither the City of Raleigh nor the local transit agency have set an electric transit bus goal. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Sustainable Freight Plans

The City of Raleigh does not have a sustainable freight plan or freight mobility plan in place, nor is it pursuing any freight efficiency strategies. 

Open Data Portals

The City of Raleigh does not have an open data portal with real-time freight data. 

Last Updated: September 2023

Community Energy Infrastructure
Score: 19 out of 40 points
Community Energy Infrastructure Summary List All

Duke Energy Progress, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving the City of Raleigh. PSNC Energy, an IOU and subsidiary of Dominion 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: July 2023

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2021, Duke Energy Progress reported 294,689.33 MWh in electric net incremental savings. In 2021, Duke Energy Progress spent $49,760,808 on electric energy efficiency programs, which represents 1.63% of its retail revenue.

In 2019, PSNC Energy either did not spend or did not report spending or 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 PSNC Energy in the form of a jointly-developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: September 2023

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. Additional measures are made available to customers with higher energy burdens. The program is implemented by Honeywell Building Solutions in partnership with Duke Energy's program staff. NES program staff work with local governments for involvement in kick-off events and program support. Duke Energy’s Helping Home Fund helps pay for repairs and health and safety issues.

In 2019, Duke Energy Progress established its Low-Income Pay for Performance Program pilot which provides payments to qualified non-profit agencies, based on energy savings resulting from weatherization and other efficiency upgrades. The payments are intended to assist participating agencies in expanding the number of customers they serve through their energy-saving programs. The program leverages funding from third-party organizations, and measures eligible for payments include, but are not limited to wall insulation, foundation insulation, air sealing, energy-efficient lighting, low-flow water measures, refrigerator replacement, water heating replacement, and insulation. As of 2022, a High Energy Use Pilot was filed and approved to assist customers that demonstrate high electrical burden.

In 2021 according to Duke Energy Progress, it achieved 688 MWh in electric energy savings while spending $571,37 on its electric low-income programs and serving 10,699 low-income electric customers.

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

The City of Raleigh has two separate owner-occupied home rehabilitation programs, one for substantial rehab and the other for limited repairs. The limited repair program currently is capped at $7,500 and the substantial rehab program is capped at $90,000 per home. Both programs offer weatherization and energy efficiency components.

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 2021, according to Duke Energy Progress, it achieved 1,475 MWh in electric energy savings, while spending $377,471 on its multifamily program and serving 30,740 housing units.

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

Last Updated: January 2024

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither Duke Energy Progress nor PSNC Energy provides building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings.

The City of Raleigh worked with Duke Energy Progress to acquire aggregated data in support of the development of a community greenhouse gas inventory, which includes 2007 and 2010 data. The City also participates in the NC Cities Initiative, including several NC municipalities and the State Government discussing issues related to energy and potential future strategies. Stakeholders including the utilities have been involved in these conversations and data availability and access for municipalities and ratepayers is a discussion topic. The city also provided comments to the Public Utilities Commission on Duke Energy’s recent IRP.

Last Updated: September 2023

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Cities and Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In September 2019, Duke Energy set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030 from 2005 levels, with a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. To achieve a 50% reduction by 2030, Duke Energy will need to reduce emissions by 2.5% annually from 2019 levels.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

In February 2021, the City of Raleigh sent a letter to the Public Utilities Commission in response to the recent Duke Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The city of Raleigh partnered with Duke in the Duke Energy Clean Cities Collaboration, and Duke Energy was a stakeholder on the city’s Community Climate Action Plan.

Clean Distributed Energy Resources 

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems. 

Municipal Renewable Energy Procurement 

We were unable to find information regarding the capacity of onsite and offsite municipal renewable energy systems in Raleigh. 

City Renewable Energy Incentive and Financing Programs 

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes the deployment of renewable energy systems. 

Last Updated: September 2023

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 has an ongoing energy intensity reduction initiative. These efforts began with baseline benchmarking to evaluate usage trends and power demands. 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 Wastewater 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 commenced in 2019. Facility design will accommodate 50 buses per day (the equivalent of 5,000 cars).

Last Updated: September 2023

Local Government Score:
6 out of 25 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Climate Change Mitigation Goal

The city of Raleigh set a goal to reduce local government GHG emissions 80% by 2050, using a 2007 baseline. 

Energy Reduction Goal

We could not find any information regarding a local energy reduction goal for Raleigh. 

Renewable Energy Goal

The city of Raleigh set a goal to use 20% renewable energy to power peak-load city operations by 2030. 

Last updated: November 2023

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Raleigh has contracted with an external partner ICF to create Raleigh’s Electric Vehicle Implementation Rollout Strategy which will map out the plan to transform the City’s fleet to 100% electric over the next 10 years. This Implementation Strategy will continue to identify opportunities to transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and the associated costs based on vehicle fleet replacement cycles, including the needed electric charging infrastructure and software. 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. This city considers alternative fueled and hybrid vehicles whenever possible. Raleigh’s fleet is composed of 11% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles. 

Public Lighting

Raleigh's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) does not have requirements for automatic lighting controls. 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 nighttime safety, utility, security, and productivity; and curtail the degradation of the night-time visual environment. The City of Raleigh has converted approximately 30,000 of its 35,000 streetlights to LED fixtures. This conversion was completed in 2016 and accounted for approximately 85% of Raleigh's streetlights.

Inclusive procurement

While Raleigh does not have mandatory inclusive procurement and contracting processes, the City has a voluntary MWBE participation goal of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the total contract amount to MWBEs on construction projects of $300,000 or more and building related contracts of $100,000 or more that include any State funding. The Bidder on the subject Contract/Proposal must document good faith efforts to provide meaningful participation by MWBEs in the performance of the Contract. Raleigh released a disparity study in 2023.  

Last updated: February 2024

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking

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. In addition, the city has additional strategies for benchmarking and energy auditing in its CCAP.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

The City's Capital Improvement Program analyzes major facility and equipment needs, establishes priorities, estimates fiscal resources, and schedules the development of funded projects. The Raleigh Community Climate Action Plan also contains strategies regarding benchmarking, energy audits, and retrofits.

Municipal Employee Transportation Benefits

While Raleigh does not have reduced-emission transportation benefits specific to municipal staff, all public transit is free for everyone in Raleigh. Additionally, Raleigh asks city employees to fill out a commuting survey.

Last update: February 2024