Climate Action Work Plan

As part of implementing Charlottesville's Community Climate Action Plan, we are publishing our 2023 Climate Action Work Plan. This is a summary list of projects the City is undertaking this year to work towards our climate goals. It serves as the foundation for our annual reporting of progress towards meeting those goals. We also invited partners across the community we know are working on climate to share their plans and programs too. Community-based actions are in the second table below. We know this is a snapshot of the climate work that's happening in Charlottesville, so if there's something we missed or a new initiative we should know about, please let us know

View a .pdf of the Work Plan here.

City of Charlottesville-led Initiatives & Programs

City of Charlottesville-led Initiatives and Programs
Program Name
Council Priority
GHG  Impact
Funding
Timing Lead Dept.
Notes
Transit Alternative Fuel Study
Yes Prerequisite Funded Ongoing
CAT Meets FTA requirements for future funding
Gas Decarbonization Study
Yes Prerequisite Funded
Ongoing Utilities Consider strategies to align with city climate goals
Zoning Rewrite
Yes Prerequisite
Partial Ongoing NDS Anticipating subsequent work needed to address climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience
City Environmental Regulations Review
Yes Prerequisite Partial 12+ months
NDS Needed to address climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience related to development
Flood Resilience Plan
-
Prerequisite Funded Ongoing PWD Related to Climate Adaptation Planning

Prerequisite for future funding through Community Flood Preparedness Fund
Go Solar Workforce Training
- Prerequisite Funded Ongoing OED
Partnership with FLIPP Inc.

Training up to 12 City residents in the 40-hour Installing and Designing PV Systems course certified by NABCEP
C-PACE Yes Moderate No Funding needed
0 - 6 months
OS Private sector climate/resilience project financing tool

Opt-in to Statewide program
Green Bank Feasibility Study
Yes Prerequisite No Funding Needed
12+ months
OS Feasibility to be studied with UVA support
EV Charging Infrastructure
-
Grant + Local Match
Funded Ongoing
OS Grant-related effort  

EV Charging Infrastructure Grant

Initiate Community EV Charging Study
Residential Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Deployment
Yes Moderate Funded (FY24)
Ongoing OS
Partnership with LEAP

Annual program elements include Solarize, energy efficiency work, ed/outreach
Renew America’s Schools Grant – Application (including securing local match) - Prerequisite
Local Funding Match required (estimate $500K)
Due Q2 2024
OS
Pursuing $5-10M to pursue GHG reductions through energy savings and solar power generation at CHS

2023 application unsuccessful, planning for 2024 application
Home Improvement/Energy Efficiency
- Low
Annual Allocation
12+ months
OCS Annual allocations by the City Council for affordable housing development, and “Entitlement” from U.S Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for home improvement.
Charlottesville Gas Energy Efficiency Program
- Moderate Funded Ongoing Utilities Annual program elements include energy efficiency improvements, education, and outreach
Attic Insulation Rebate
- Moderate Funded
Ongoing Utilities Annual program promotes energy efficiency improvements
Programmable Thermostat Rebate Program
-
Moderate Funded Ongoing
Utilities Annual program promotes energy efficiency 
Carbon Offset Natural Gas Program
- Low Funded
Ongoing Utilities Strategy to reduce CO2 emissions
Energy-Saving Trees Program
- Low Funded
Ongoing
Utilities Partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation (200 free trees to residents)  

Annual program promotes energy conservation and carbon sequestration
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG)
- Low Grant Funded
Q1 2024
OS Charlottesville allocation = $76,840

Support residential home energy checkups and access to related incentive programs.
Climate Pollution Reduction Fund Grant - Application
- Prerequisite Grant Funded
Application due Q2 2024
OS
Application due April 1, 2024

Deep Energy Retrofit Projects + Solar for all City Facilities

Coordinating with VA DEQ on State Priority Climate Action Plan
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) - establish procurement opportunity mechanism
Yes Prerequisite None needed
12+ months
OS Strategy to increase solar capacity on City/School Buildings 
Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) – establish procurement model/opportunity
Yes
Prerequisite TBD 12+ months
OS Strategy to address municipal energy load beyond on-site generation potential

Ongoing collaborative effort with peer VA communities

Anticipates energy services consultant support
Internal Green Building Standards for New Construction and Major Renovations
Yes
Prerequisite Funded 6 - 12 months
OS/FD Institutionalize high performing building standards across the City organization

Use UVA, AlbCo, and peer communities as models
Community Education & Outreach Work
- Moderate Funded Ongoing OS Ongoing climate program activity

Focused on making information, programs, and services equitable, accessible, & widespread 
GHG Inventory
- Prerequisite Funded Ongoing OS Annual climate program activity
Composting Program
-
Low Funded Ongoing OS/PS
Annual program activity

Limited program scope
Community and Urban Forests Grant – Application
- Prerequisite
Local Match Required
Application Submitted June 2023
P&R
USDN Grant Successful - will fund an updated Urban Forest Management Plan
Urban Tree Planting
- Low
CIP Funded
Ongoing P&R Annual program activity

Limited program scope
Bicycle Infrastructure
- Low CIP Funded
Ongoing NDS Annual program activity

Limited program scope
New Sidewalks
- Low CIP Funded
Ongoing PWD Annual program activity

Limited program scope
City and Schools Solar PV Program
- Moderate CIP Funded
Ongoing PWD/OS Annual program activity
Clean Energy Loan Fund
- Low CIP Funded
Ongoing OS
No ongoing funding committed

Program delivered through LEAP
LED Streetlight Conversion
Yes Low
CIP Funded
12+ months
OS/PWD FY24 funded ($600,000)
School Bus Electrification Implementation Plan
Yes Prerequisite Unfunded
12+ months
OS Outside technical consulting  

Anticipating grant funding opportunities for bus and infrastructure over next 5 years
Other Grant Opportunities
- Prerequisite Grants Ongoing Varies
Ongoing program activity

TBD for 2023; IRA and BIL funding opportunities will exist over the span of the next 3-10 years
Resilient Together
- Prerequisite TBD Ongoing - 2 year planning process
OS Building on 2022 Climate Risk identification  

Collaborative planning process with Albemarle County and UVA

Intentional community engagement component

The Community Led Initiatives and Programs list was made in collaboration with community partner organizations and we are pleased to be sharing information about the great climate work that is being done in the Charlottesville area. We know this is not a complete list and we plan to update it periodically. If you know of a climate-related organization or initiative we missed, please tell us about it!

Community Led Initiatives and Programs

Program Name
Lead Organization
Timeline Notes/Goals/Metrics
Energy Efficiency Upgrades
AHIP Ongoing Partnership with local companies to improve the energy efficiency and health of area homes

Saves energy and money for homeowners
Green Business Alliance
Community Climate Collaborative (C3)
Ongoing - 2nd Year
Supports local businesses in reducing their climate impacts

Kicked off second cohort in Spring 2023

Minimum target of 30% GHG reduction for each member over 5-year time frame

Group level goals are 35 – 45% GHG reduction over 5 years
Make Your Own Impact
C3 Ongoing Public education and outreach campaign designed to help individuals take climate action. Includes online and offline events.
Climate Kits for Kids
C3 Annual Done in partnership with ACPS, CCS, and the VA Discovery Museum

City kits are supported by EWMP program – 330 kits to CCS 5th graders
Energy Efficiency Grants
C3 Annual Award energy efficiency upgrades (HVAC, lighting, appliances) to small, minority-owned businesses

Applications open January – March, awards delivered in spring and early summer
Climate Services
C3 Ongoing Professional services for commercial organizations to assist in reducing energy usage and carbon footprint

Includes energy assessments, carbon footprinting, and project facilitation

Limited availability for free services for community organizations - nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and schools

Fee-for-service provided to for-profit businesses
Community Education
C3 Ongoing Covering a variety of topics that raise awareness, provide recognition, and uplift our work and the work of others

Some of the most popular posts have been seen by over 3k readers
Transportation Equity
C3 Ongoing Facilitates collaborative partnerships with community leaders and stakeholders to drive the vision of accessible, efficient, affordable, and sustainable transportation solutions.

Through comprehensive community engagement efforts, valuable insights are gathered, leading to the development of impactful reports, presentations, workshops, and advocacy initiatives.
Energy Equity
C3 Ongoing Collaborates with community leaders and stakeholders to empower and address the energy challenges faced by underprivileged individuals in our community.  

Through inclusive community outreach and robust input collection, we generate insightful reports, engaging presentations, and impactful advocacy efforts.  

We promote energy options that are more equitable, efficient, affordable, and sustainable and prioritize our community's needs and aspirations.
Urban Agriculture Collective
Cultivate Charlottesville
Ongoing Works to grow and share food and power. UAC works with neighbors on urban farm sites located at public and subsidized housing sites. Food grown is shared with neighbors at no-cost bi-weekly markets.  
Food Justice Network
Cultivate Charlottesville
Ongoing A network of 35 organizations working to build a healthy and just food system in Charlottesville that centers community voice and racial equity. 

FJN coordinates implementation of Food Equity Initiative Policy Platform goals towards climate justice and urban agriculture in Charlottesville.
City Schoolyard Gardens
Cultivate Charlottesville
Ongoing Hosts gardens and leadership programming at 7 CCS schools and our promise neighborhood. These sites implement environmental education and sustainability practices including progress towards climate goals such as composting, tree canopy, living pathways, etc.
Collaboration Cville100
Ongoing Bring together various environmentally focused groups to advance climate action in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Examples of this include tabling on the mall and other public spaces, coordinating with UVA to conduct program feasibility studies, and garnering support for petitions such as protecting the tree canopy and banning gas powered machinery.
Education Cville100 Ongoing Organize and present webinars and discussions to increase the understanding of climate issues by the local community. Raise awareness of how climate change is affecting groups, who are not currently focused on it, about how they will be impacted by it. Presentations are made by local government representatives, environmental groups, and members of Cville100 Climate Alliance.
Motivation Cville100 Ongoing Use social engagement tools to motivate community members and local government representatives to take decisions that will promote action in addressing climate change.
Advocacy Cville100 Ongoing Present climate action issues at City Council and County Board meetings.  This includes organizing speakers to make statements in support of the elimination of residential natural gas installations and gas powered machinery in government, increasing the tree canopy, and converting to low carbon emission buses for mass transit. Additionally, we are promoting the incorporation of climate change related measures into the Comprehensive-Land Use Plans.
Community Education & Outreach
Generation 180
Ongoing Locally based organization with a national reach - helping Americans live and drive electric, go solar, and move toward clean energy solutions for all aspects of their lives. 
Solarize! LEAP Annual Bundles solar installation projects to reduces costs for homeowners
Home Energy Audits
LEAP Ongoing Comprehensive Home Energy Assessment for homeowners & renters
Free & Reduced Cost HEAs
LEAP Ongoing Income and age-qualified home energy assessments for homeowners & renters - available to all Dominion customers who meet the income requirements.
Low-Income Solar
LEAP Ongoing Up to 5kW of PV panels installed at no cost to the homeowner.
Income & Age-qualifying Weatherization
LEAP Ongoing Energy efficiency improvements and direct installs to homeowners and renters - available to qualifying Dominion and Charlottesville Gas Customers.
EnergySmart Rebates
LEAP
Ongoing Rebates for Energy Efficiency Improvements to encourage homeowners to take actions
Piedmont Mobility Alliance The Piedmont Environmental Council Ongoing
Foster information-sharing among the dozens of groups working to promote walking and biking.

Advocate for improved bike / ped infrastructure; Support programs and “quick-win” infrastructure.

Promote more equitable access to the outdoors.
Promote Smart Growth
The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC)
Ongoing
Facilitate growth in designated development areas that already have water, school, and transportation infrastructure.

Advocate for compact, walkable, highly livable communities in those areas; Work at scales ranging from Site Plan to Comprehensive Plan.
Solarize the Piedmont
PEC, LEAP
Annual Promote and assist residents to sign up for home solar installation.
Buy Fresh, Buy Local
PEC Ongoing Highlights local farmers, artisans, and retailers to better connect local producers to local consumers.
 
Promotes sustainable agriculture practices, the importance of soil health, and benefits of buying local to the environment, including reducing pollution and greenhouse gasses from transportation and fostering community.
Regional Collaboration
PEC Ongoing
Promote and platform collaboration between Charlottesville, Albemarle County, UVA, the Commonwealth of Virginia and other entities in matters of transportation, land use, park access, land and water conservation.

Actively contribute to regional transportation, transit, water, natural and historic resource committee and commission efforts.
Surface & Groundwater Protection
PEC Ongoing
Protect forestland and open space in the Rivanna River watershed.

Promote buffering of streams and water bodies to improve water quality and protect ecological integrity and the local drinking water supply.

Limit impervious cover and impacts of development in floodplains and other sensitive areas.
Kindlewood Redevelopment (formally Friendship Court)
Piedmont Housing Alliance
Ongoing Baseline goals: DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes; Enterprise Green Communities; rooftops with max solar directly serving resident utility bills

Aspirational goal: PHIUS Passive House
Green Business Alliance
Piedmont Housing Alliance
Ongoing Initiatives in line with the GBA goals to reduce Scope I/II emissions
Inflation Reduction Act Bootcamp
Piedmont Housing Alliance
Ongoing Part of cohort of nonprofits around the country learning to use IRA resources to the fullest extent possible
Policy/Advocacy
Piedmont Housing Alliance
Ongoing Advocating for Virginia to remain in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

Successfully lobbied for solar to be included as eligible expense in Virginia Housing’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program
Healthy Landscapes Program
Piedmont Master Gardeners
Annual Site visits made with recommendations based on the Eight Principles of Conservation Landscaping; working with homeowners and HOAs to create, maintain and preserve our region’s native plants and habitats for pollinators, birds and other wildlife.

This includes identifying and promoting removal of invasive species, practices that clean and conserve water and manage erosion, building healthy soils with practices of composting and adding organic matter, etc. 
Healthy Virginia Lawns
Piedmont Master Gardeners
Annual The Healthy Virginia Lawns (HVL) program is a joint venture between Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Through this program, Extension Piedmont Master Gardeners provide homeowners in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville with science-based information on establishment and maintenance of lawns to reduce unnecessary chemical use that can harm our local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. A site visit includes soil test, lawn measurements and a Nutrient Management Plan based on the soil test.   

The client receives Lawn Best Management Practices and tips on how to easily shrink the lawn to make room for native species (sheet mulching, lawn alternatives, adding native shrubs, understory and canopy trees).  Soil erosion issues are also addressed.
Habitat for Humanity – Home Landscaping Partnership
Piedmont Master Gardeners & Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville
Ongoing The goal is to assist Habitat Partner Families (PF) with landscaping their new homes by providing guidance in the selection, purchase, planting, and ongoing care of the plants, including on the use of native plants and conservation landscaping practices.  We have increased use of native plants in the Habitat for Humanity landscaping to > 80%.
Plant Northern Piedmont Virginia Native Plant Campaign
Piedmont Master Gardeners in partnership with Plant Virginia Natives
Ongoing PMG is a partner in the statewide program Plant Virginia Natives. Extension Master Gardeners adopt and work with a Garden Center to promote the native plants they carry and provide plant lists of approved NPNs to encourage them to increase the supply and variety of native plants they make available to the public. 
Share Your Harvest
Piedmont Master Gardeners
Ongoing Campaign to address the issue of food insecurity and food waste.  

Encourages gardeners to plan to share the bountiful harvest and not let it go to waste.  Website and brochure directs you to the list of local food banks and pantries for donations as well as for those experiencing food insecurity.   

Provides some tips and resources surrounding the issues of food waste.
Community Education
Piedmont Master Gardeners
Ongoing Provides mentoring, hands-on demonstrations, and research-based information and resources to the community through School Gardens, Community Garden Partners, Demonstration Gardens, Monthly Online Newsletter, Garden Basics Classes, Public Presentations, and a Public Help Desk.
Advocacy Program and Community Education
Preservation Piedmont
Ongoing Advocate & share information with community on importance of preserving embodied carbon in existing buildings by supporting rehabilitation & weatherization of these buildings.    

Collaboration with partners sharing similar goals.

Research & pursue energy savings grants & programs for preservation of historic properties.

In managing Preservation Piedmont’s property, replace outdated systems with energy savings ones & work to remove invasive species from property.

Provide design guidance for incorporating renewable energy at historic properties.  

Increase awareness of and support programs for historic neighborhoods that are walkable, bike-able, and transit-supported.
Neighborhood Tree Restoration
ReLeaf C'Ville
Ongoing Working to expand Charlottesville’s tree canopy.

Mostly planting on private property, with emphasis on low-canopy neighborhoods.

Developing tree preservation plan for low-income neighbors (funding tree maintenance for existing trees).
Environmental Education
ReLeaf C'ville
Ongoing Making presentations about the value of trees and nature in City schools.

Helping CHS’s career fair include environmental vendors and organizations.

Developing the Green Team, a group of teenaged students who meet in the summer to learn about trees, nature, and climate change. This is followed by tree planting in the Fall.
Household Food Waste Composting Program
Rivanna Solid Waste Authority
Ongoing Diverting organics from the waste stream by offering drop-off collection of household food scraps.

Available at McIntire Recycling Center and Ivy MUC.
Mulch Program
Rivanna Solid Waste Authority
Ongoing Recycling wood waste into mulch for sale to the public to divert it from the landfill.
Earth Flag Program
Sierra Club - Piedmont Chapter
Ongoing Recognizing and amplifying climate activists who are making a difference in our community.
Charlottesville Conservation Assistance Program
Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District (TJSWCD) Ongoing Cost share program that supports residential land owners in installing BMPs to protect waterways, native vegetation, and wildlife habitat. Additionally, this program promotes and supports tree planting, pollinator habitat planting, and provides flood resilience.
Virginia Agricultural Cost Share (VACS) Program TJSWCD Ongoing Cost share program that supports land owners in installing BMPs on Agricultural land that improves water quality, sequesters carbon, and provides GHG reduction. In addition to climate benefits, this program protects waterways, promotes tree planting in riparian buffers, promotes native vegetation and wildlife habitat, and provides flood resilience.
Alliance to Advance Climate Smart Agriculture TJSWCD Ongoing Virginia Tech-led USDA Climate Smart Commodities Grant that will provide direct funding to landowners to implement climate friendly Agricultural BMPs, specifically targeting carbon sequestration and GHG reduction benefits. As with many traditional AG BMPs, they also provide additional benefits including improvements to riparian buffers, water quality, and flood resilience. It also helps to support local food for the community. It emphasizes the inclusion of at least 40% Historically underserved Producers.
K-12 Education Program TJSWCD Ongoing
Camp Albemarle: 4th Grade Watershed Education Program (Albemarle and Charlottesville) and Envirothon High School Competition.

Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Curriculum is increasingly being added into the District’s education topics.
Conservation Easements
TJSWCD Ongoing The District currently holds 18 Conservation Easements, including one on Fry’s Springs Park in the City of Charlottesville and 10 throughout Albemarle County. All Easements are held in-perpetuity and preserve watersheds and open space and protect from future development and deforestation, etc.