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City neighborhoods win thousands for energy projects

Plaza Midwood neighborhood will encourage residents to walk or bike, not drive. Photo: Jeff Michael

Eleven Charlotte neighborhoods have won grants of as much as $10,000 from the City of Charlotte’s for projects aimed at cutting energy use.

The city’s Charlotte’s Power2 Live Green Special Initiative Neighborhood Matching Grant Program gave out $97,248 in federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant money. Ten of the projects are home energy efficiency initiatives. One, in Plaza Midwood, is an alternative transportation challenge.

The city’s Neighborhood and Business Services department got 19 applications for the grants, which could be as much as $10,000. All were required to decrease neighborhood energy consumption by a projected 15 percent and to be completed by June 1.

Here’s a list of winning neighborhoods, and project descriptions from each neighborhood’s application.

Queens Towers Condominiums, $10,000: The project will apply energy improvement upgrades to the Queens Towers’ 54 condominiums including south-facing window tinting and compact fluorescent lamp light bulbs. 

Revolution Park, $10,000: The project will update HVAC systems and insulation in the neighborhood’s homes. According to a community survey most of the homes date to the 1940s and need energy upgrades.

Park Crossing, $9,999: The project will implement energy efficient lighting programs and provide home energy audits.

Commonwealth Morningside, $9,991:  The project will provide home energy audits and an incentive/rebate program for improvements made based on the audit findings, along with any other energy efficient home improvements.

Historic Washington Heights, $9,899: Power2Live Green in Historic Washington Heights plans to partner with local utility companies including Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy and City of Charlotte Utilities to host a Power2Green festival in the L.C. Coleman Neighborhood Park. The festival will feature energy efficient do-it-yourself home improvement demonstrations and information on ways to decrease household utility bills. 

Northwood Estates, $9,888:  The project will educate residents on energy reduction in hopes of reducing its household energy bills by 15 percent. The majority of neighborhood residents are over 70, so the neighborhood will provide installation of energy-saving products for a more immediate energy impact.

Enderly Park, $9,656: The project will focus on providing energy-efficient outdoor lighting for residents’ properties. 

Plaza Midwood, $9,477: The week long Plaza Midwood Alternative Transportation Challenge, May 5-12, will encourage residents to run, walk or ride a bike during a “car-free week” and celebrate the neighborhood’s new community bike racks. The challenge is also sponsoring several community events including Shamrock Gardens Elementary School’s “Walk to School” initiative, the Midwood Maynia Festival and Plaza Midwood BikeWeek.

Graham Heights, $9,410: The project will offer home energy audits and an Energy Star Appliance raffle.

Oaklawn Park, $8,875: The project will lead energy-efficient product distribution and host an energy-efficient lighting program for its residents. 

Grier Heights, $5,300: The project will hold a neighborhood cleanup and provide items for residents to weatherize their homes.