State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Raleigh, NC

21.50Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 2.5 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Raleigh adopted the Community Climate Action Plan in 2021.

Last updated: September 2021

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 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.

Last updated: September 2021

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: September 2021

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: September 2021

Mitigation of Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

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

 UHI 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.

Last updated: September 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 4 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: June 2021

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 57.6. 


Residential construction in Raleigh complies with the North Carolina Codes. The city’s zEPI score for its residential energy code is 62.9. 


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 or include charging infrastructure.

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. 

Last Updated: June 2021

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.

Last Updated: June 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


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

Last Updated: June 2021

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: June 2021

Score: 6.5 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 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 Capital 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: December 2021

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 to be made available per efficiency residential unit, one space per bedroom, or two spaces per manufactured home. Raleigh requires at least one space to be made available per single-family home.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

Raleigh does not have location efficiency incentives or disclosure requirements.

Last Updated: December 2021

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

The City utilizes census data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to determine mode share totals. The City partnered with NCDOT and the Capital Area MPO to install permanent bike and pedestrian counters around the City; the first phase of counter installation is complete, and the City will have count data to further measure market penetration of these modes in the near future.

Complete Streets

Raleigh has a complete streets policy.

Last Updated: December 2021

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the city of Raleigh have received $32,701,503.80 on average annually between 2015 and 2019. That equates to roughly $30.50 per capita between 2015 and 2019 within the Authority's service area. 

Access to Transit Services

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. The City of Raleigh Transit Connectivity Index value is 4.9, scoring 0 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: December 2021

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

The City has 185 charging ports available for public use, equivalent to 39 ports per 100,000 people.

Electric School Bus Goal

Raleigh does not have an electric school bus goal.

EV Transit Bus Goal

Raleigh is increasing its electric bus transit fleet. The Raleigh Transit Authority will have 5 electric buses and is transitioning the bus fleet primarily to CNG (the bioenergy project), (up to 75% of the fleet) and the remaining 25% will be electric, biodiesel, and may include other technologies.

Last Updated: December 2021

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: December 2021

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.

Last Updated: December 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 6 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. 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 2021

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, Duke Energy Progress reported 304,400 MWh in electric net incremental savings, representing 1.25% of retail sales. In 2019, Duke Energy Progress spent $60,640,000 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: July 2021

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

In 2019, according to Duke Energy Progress, it achieved 3,279 MWh in electric energy savings while spending $1,454,619 on its electric low-income programs and serving 4,030 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 2019, according to Duke Energy Progress, it achieved 10,368 MWh in electric energy savings, while spending $1,846,676 on its multifamily program and serving 274,935 housing units.

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

Last Updated: July 2021

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: July 2021

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of 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.

Last Updated: July 2021

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: July 2021

Local Government Score:
2.5 out of 10 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 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 municipal GHG emissions reduction goal because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis.

Energy Reduction Goal

We were unable to 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: June 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies 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. This city considers alternative fueled and hybrid vehicles whenever possible. Raleigh’s fleet is composed of 6.6% 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.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems

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

Inclusive procurement

While we were unable to verify if this has been applied to energy projects, the City’s goal is to contract 15% of the contract amount to Certified MWBEs on construction projects of $300,000 or more (or contracts of $100,000 or more that include any State funding). The goal breakdown is eight percent for minorities and seven percent for non-minority women.

Last updated: June 2021

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.

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.

Last updated: June 2021