The City of Charlotte Neighborhood and Business Services Department is now accepting applications for the Neighborhood Energy Challenge; a program encouraging neighbors to join forces to develop innovative and practical strategies for improving their neighborhoods’ energy use. The program is open to any neighborhood association or homeowners association in Charlotte that has been established for at least three months. Up to five neighborhoods will be selected from the entire city to participate, regardless of location or economic conditions. Those selected will receive monies from two different pools of funding; one focused on developing improvements that benefit an entire neighborhood, such as more bus stops to promote public transit; and the second to focus on a limited scope of high impact energy efficiency improvements in households, such as attic insulation, duct sealing, and weatherization within the five selected neighborhoods. Applications are due July 31. Residents interested in applying must register and take part in one of five pre-application workshops, designed to provide applicants with detailed information about the program and application process. The pre-application workshops are scheduled as follows: Thursday, May 20, 6:00pm-8:30 p.m., Arbor Glen Recreation Center, 1520 Clanton Road Thursday, June 10, 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Hickory Grove Recreation Center, 6709 Pence Road Saturday, June 26, 9:30 a.m.-Noon, Old City Hall, Uptown, 600 E. Trade Street Tuesday, July 13, 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Park Road YWCA, 3420 Park Road Saturday, July 17, 9:30-Noon Old City Hall, Uptown, 600 E. Trade Street To learn more and register for the workshop, call (704) 353-1130 or visit http://nbs.charlottenc.gov. Funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy, the Neighborhood Challenge is one of 17 City of Charlotte projects to receive funding through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, part of the American Resource and Recovery Act. To learn more about Charlotte’s energy strategy, visit the city’s economic recovery web site at www.charmeck.org.