(User-friendly URL: This webpage can be reached at www.charlottesville.org/greenincentives)
The City of Charlottesville offers several incentives and resources to support and promote green building practices (including energy efficiency, energy conservation, renewable energy generation, and water conservation).
|Incentive/Resource||Available for Commercial / Non-Residential Properties||Available for Residential Properties|
Energy Efficient Buildings
Solar Equipment, Facilities, and Devices
Green (Vegetative or Solar) Roof
Energy Upgrades & Retrofits
Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency
EV Charging Station
Buildings within the City of Charlottesville that meet the energy efficiency standards as described below are eligible for a reduced tax rate of 50% on the building value for one (1) tax year. Eligibility for the special tax rate is effective beginning the first day of the tax year next succeeding the certification by the department of neighborhood development services and shall remain in effect for that tax year.
"Energy-Efficient Building" means any building that:
(i) exceeds the energy efficiency standards prescribed in the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code by 30%,
(ii) meets or exceeds performance standards of the Green Globes Green Building Rating System of the Green Building Initiative,
(iii) meets or exceeds performance standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council,
(iv) meets or exceeds performance standards or guidelines under the EarthCraft House Program, or
(v) is a Home Performance with Energy Star qualified home, the energy efficiency of which meets or exceeds performance guidelines for energy efficiency under the Energy Star program developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Find out more, including how to apply for this tax exemption at: City Code Article V Division 1 Sec. 30-160.1 through Sec. 30-160.11
Application available through the Department of Neighborhood Development Services > Building Permits & Inspections > Incentive Programs: www.charlottesville.org/Index.aspx?page=3345
FAQs available at: www.charlottesville.org/Index.aspx?page=3376
Owners of real estate in the city to which is attached certified solar energy equipment, facilities or devices are granted an exemption from taxation on such certified solar energy equipment, facilities or devices (e.g. the solar energy equipment, facilities or devices do not change the property’s assessed value).
Additionally, a portion of the amounts certified can be credited against the total real estate taxes shown on the land book for the tax year in question (indicated as a credit on the tax tickets of each qualifying property). The amount credited will be calculated by applying the current tax rate to the amount of the purchase and installation costs of the certified solar energy equipment, facilities or devices. The credit applies for five (5) years and becomes effective beginning the first day of the tax year next succeeding the certification by the division of building and life safety and will remain in effect for that tax year and the following four (4) tax years.
Example: A property is assessed at $300,000. A solar system is then installed with $10,000 of labor and purchased certified solar equipment, facilities or devices. The property’s assessed value remains $300,000.
The property owner submits the application for the solar tax credit and is approved. The credit amount would be equal to ($10,000 x Tax Rate) and will be applied every year for five (5) years. With a tax rate of 0.95%, the solar tax credit for this property would be: $10,000 x 0.95% = $95.00 annually ($475 in total over 5 years).
* Certified solar energy equipment, facilities or devices means any property, including real or personal property, equipment, facilities or devices, certified by the division of building and life safety to be designed and used primarily for the purpose of providing for the collection and use of incident solar energy for water heating, space heating or cooling or other application which would otherwise require a conventional source of energy such as petroleum products, natural gas or electricity.
How to Apply and More Information: www.charlottesville.org/SolarTaxCredit
A 50% reduction to the building permit fee applicable to construction of a “green roof” as defined by Va. Code Section 58.1-3852.
* A "green roof" means a solar roof or a vegetative roof:
"Solar roof" means a solar roofing system that generates reusable energy, which reusable energy accounts for at least 2.5 percent of the total electric energy used by the building to which the solar roofing system is attached.
"Vegetative roof" means a roofing system designed in accordance with the Virginia Stormwater Management Program's standards and specifications for green roofs, as set forth in the Virginia Stormwater BMP Clearinghouse, in which at least 50 percent of the total roofing area is vegetative.
Va. Code Section 58.1-3852: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title58.1/chapter38/section58.1-3852/
City Council Approval (April 2009): Green/Solar Roof - Reduced Permit Fee
Formerly, City of Charlottesville residents could receive interest rates as low as 0% on a PowerSaver loan. The PowerSaver Loan program was designed to offer low cost loans to make energy-saving improvements for homeowners. This loan could be used for a wide variety of improvements including:
- replacement doors and windows
- air conditioning or heating systems
- water heaters
- metal or asphalt roofs
- air and duct sealing
- solar panels
- geothermal systems
PowerSaver Loan rates are already low, and the Rate Reduction Program for City of Charlottesville residents can buy the loan down to 0% APR. This assists homeowners in making investments in their homes' energy efficiency that will pay dividends with lower energy bills and greater comfort. Homeowners must enroll in LEAP’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program and use a LEAP participating contractor to make an eligible energy efficiency improvement.
This program was launched by UVA Community Credit Union, the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), and the City of Charlottesville. Find out more at: www.uvacreditunion.org/content/powersaver-loans-your-home
Local businesses and organizations in the City of Charlottesville can take advantage of the Clean Energy Commercial Loan Program to invest in renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency improvements. This new program provides flexible financing structures and terms to help qualified businesses and their owners overcome financial barriers to making these improvements. Rates offered through this program are as low as 0% for well qualified borrowers.
A variety of projects are eligible for loans, including:
- Lighting upgrades
- Energy audits
- Energy management controls
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
- Refrigeration and food service
- Duct sealing
- Water Heaters
This program was launched by UVA Community Credit Union, the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), and the City of Charlottesville. Find out more at: www.leap-va.org/commercial-program
Toilets generally account for 30% of the water used inside your home. A new toilet will create instant, significant, and permanent water savings. Toilets installed before 1994 are eligible for this rebate (after 1994, toilets were made to use only 1.6 gallons per flush) and must have the WaterSense label. WaterSense is an EPA program that labels fixtures that have been tested to be at least 20% more water efficient than standard fixtures, while maintaining the same performance.
The rebate is available for residential (up to $100) and commercial (up to $80) properties.
Find out more at: Water Rebates & Incentives
Generally sized between 50 and 60 gallons, a rain barrel is a container connected to a downspout on your home, office or garage. Its purpose is to capture some of the precipitation that lands on the roof and store it for future use, mostly on landscapes or gardens. This decreases the stormwater runoff from roofs and helps save potable water. To qualify, you must be a City of Charlottesville water customer in good standing.
Up to two $30 rebates may be issued for each service address.
Find out more at: Water Rebates & Incentives
Natural gas emits 45% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal, and 30% less CO2 than oil on an energy equivalent basis. In fact, switching from electric appliances to natural gas appliances can reduce your home’s carbon footprint by up to 40%. Charlottesville Gas offers a $200 rebate when you switch from an electric, propane or natural gas tank water heater to an energy saving tankless natural gas water heater.
Find out more at: Charlottesville Gas Rebates
An energy saving programmable thermostat can turn down the heat during the many hours you are at work or asleep, and make sure your home is comfortable when you are there to enjoy it. If you use natural gas for heating your home, Charlottesville Gas offers a $100 rebate for a programmable thermostat. The $100 can be used to cover the cost of the programmable thermostat or the expense of installing it.
Note: Bring your old thermostat to the Office of Utility Billing for proper disposal. (Old thermostats may contain mercury)
Find out more at: Charlottesville Gas Rebates
The City of Charlottesville created this mini-grant program to support the development of a publically-accessible EV (electric vehicle) charging network in Charlottesville. It is envisioned as charging stations located around the City near or co-located with commercial and retail activities, easily accessible from likely entrance routes to the City, managed with reasonable rates and hours of use, and listed on publically-accessible charging locator maps and databases used by EV drivers.
Eligibility requirements and application materials can be found at: www.charlottesville.org/cityEVnetwork