Energy Nominees

Central Piedmont Community College (1st Place Winner)

CPCC has re-commissioned HVAC systems, upgraded building automation systems, upgraded 25,000 lights with high-efficiency lamps and ballasts, upgraded plumbing to low-flow, upgraded a data center with high-efficiency servers, and incorporated cold-aisle containment. CPCC saves energy in many other ways on their various campuses including solar street lighting, solar thermal hot water, solar USB chargers, electric car charging, LED retrofits, and central energy plant optimization. Their upgrades to HVAC systems, lighting, and plumbing have yielded resource savings equivalent to 1,414 vehicles off roads, over 870,000 gallons of gas saved, over 7 million gallons of water saved, and 1,072 houses taken off the grid!

Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (2nd Place Winner)

RETI aims to help local families transition to a more sustainable lifestyle that will in turn reduce their energy costs and help the environment. RETI provides a specialized focus on low income families who could benefit the most by becoming more efficient. Previous RETI services include general awareness programs and educational programs throughout CharMeck public libraries; the organization readies children, teens, and adults for the adoption of clean energy technologies, such as smart thermostats and solar panels for their homes. RETI has helped to educate over 200 children about Energy Efficiency including 180 at Imaginon through interactive games. RETI sponsors a youth advisory council featuring mentorship and hands on leadership opportunities.

Energy Transition is rooted in creating stable economies by means of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable development. RETI uses these foundational ideals to integrally help people and families most critically in need through youth training and community partnerships.

Optima Engineering (3rd Place Winner)

Optima Engineering's mission is to provide high performance, sustainable, efficient engineering design, so that owners and occupants will consume fewer resources while maintaining high quality buildings. Optima Engineering is a member of the USGBC, and our commitment to sustainability is evident by the fact that our own office space was the first in Charlotte to earn a LEED Platinum certification. Keith Pehl, man with a vision, the President and founder of Optima Engineering, has served on multiple boards for the local USGBC Chapter. We have designed over 50 LEED Certified projects, projects that are Net-Zero Energy, Energy Star Certified, and many that include renewable energy sources including Solar Photovoltaic & Solar Thermal, etc. It is our goal to incorporate efficiency & sustainability into all of our projects, regardless of whether LEED certification is being targeted.  

Building Services Division, City of Charlotte

Energy management and pursuit of Energy Star for the City facilities is the responsibility of the Building Services Division of Engineering & Property Management, which maintains nearly 300 facilities and assets, including 5 million square feet of buildings, 2 million square feet of roof, and 4.6 million square feet of parking. This includes police stations, fire stations, administrative buildings, museums, fleet maintenance shops, parking decks and communication towers. Energy management strategy is aligned across the property portfolio, reducing the City’s energy use intensity by 17% percent and avoided more than $16.7 million in costs since 2003. In 2009, the City adopted the Policy for Sustainable City Facilities, emphasizing energy efficiency and requiring a percentage reduction beyond ASHRAE 90.1 for new construction and major renovation projects. In recognition of its energy efficiency efforts, the City has recently earned Energy Star Certification at five facilities.

Building Services Division is responsible for new construction oversight, continuous operation and maintenance. Our successful energy management is directly due to our teamwork across varied disciplines and our focus on collaboration, understanding & respect for our individual & collective roles.

Atrium Animal Hospital

Atrium Animal Hospital has made a concerted effort to improve the earth not simply by healing animals, but also by investing in a sustainable business model. Atrium Animal Hospital has invested in reducing its energy consumption by installing a 23.5kW PV system. It is a forward thinking company. They are an example of how small medical facilities can pursue their mission of improving life for all inhabitants of this planet.

Atrium Animal Hospital goes above and beyond it's mission to heal, to include environmental stewardship in it's considerations. It is an inspiration for other small medical practices to be conscious of their own impact on the environment.

Studio 73

Studio 73 is a dance studio that is feels responsible for the young dancers that are entrusted to them. With the future of their students in mind, Studio 73 has gone solar to create a better world for the future.

Studio 73 is a pioneer amongst their industry. Their commitment to sustainability is a statement of their dedication to the futures of Studio 73's dancers.


In June 2015, the Belk corporate office installed LED lighting in all 44 ceiling fixtures in its 3-story parking deck. Each new LED lamp is 4 times more efficient than the previous metal halide lamps. The total building had an approximate 10% decrease in energy usage June-August 2015 compared to the same time period in 2014.

This project was completed in a collaborative manner between the Sustainability Department and the Corporate Facilities Department.

Meritage Homes

In 2009 when the economy and home builders market was in a down spin Meritage Homes, thru the leadership of an Environmental Scientist and architect hired with an idea, changed all their production over to Extreme Energy Efficient Homes with Green system and materials. They valued engineered the products to be competitive, with faith that of few home consumers left, they would choose a home that cost less to run. Their homes go well beyond Energy Star that many builders are moving to. Every community has an Energy Learning Center set up in their models. They are the only mass builder using sprayfoam insulation roof peak to foundation on all homes. A 4600sf home with utility cost under $110/mo, They have won many EPA Awards including their Clean Air System and water conservation. They did all before anyone thought of it and are still miles ahead of the industry that is just beginning to turn to Energy Star in order to compete with the new builder in town. They have pushed the others to follow!

Family Dollar Stores

Family Dollar made significant advances in its energy management program. Its primary loads are lighting, HVAC, and refrigeration. Solutions implemented to improve efficiency include: 1) Replaced 32w & 28w T8 lamps with 25w T8 lamps (>600 stores/year, >225,000 lamps/year, and >3.5 million kWh reduction/year); 2) Performed HVAC duct sealing at >150 stores yielding avg. annual energy savings of 5%; 3) Installed Anti-fog film on >700 freezer doors to eliminate anti-sweat heater (500,000 kwh reduction/year). Family Dollar specified LEDs for most exterior lighting, and is testing LED for interior lighting. Family Dollar is now purchasing high EER HVAC units for all new stores. Family Dollar has benchmarked EUI at > 7000 locations with the EPA Portfolio Manager tool. Family Dollar is a proud EPA ENERGY STAR Partner.



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