Railroads to Renewables

Our History

Time travel to 149 years ago when our Town was incorporated. This chunk of Earth was named 'Apex' because our community is situated at the highest point along a 30-miles section of the Chatham Railroad. Steam engines would stop at the top of the climb to replenish their water supply from Log pond, which use to ripple right beneath Fire Station #1 along Salem Street. Travel back to the 21st century: Trains continue to trek through Apex, the Peak of Good Living - ranked the #1 Best Place to Live by Money Magazine in 2015. We honor our history as we look to the future: from Railroads to Renewables. 

Learn more on the Our History page.

Our Future

100% Clean Energy by 2050 

Apex is committed to achieving 100% Clean Energy by 2050 for town operations! The Apex Town Council passed a Resolution in February 2019 that endorsed the following goals for town operations: 

  • 80% Clean Energy by 2035 
  • 100% Clean Energy by 2050 
  • 100% Clean Municipal Vehicle Fleet 
  • Endorsement of the Paris Climate Agreement 

The Town is leading by example in its operations by committing to a clean energy future, a limb off the Council strategic goal of High Performing Government. Additional Council strategic goals include Healthy & Engaged Community, Economic Vitality, and Environmental Leadership & Responsible Development. In other words: People, Profit, Planet. That's the Peak. 

Please peruse the growing list of initiatives below that the Town is tackling to achieve the 100% Resolution goals, strategic goals, and to Lead by Example for a sustainable and resilient Apex.

Paris Climate Agreement 

Listen to an inside story from an organizer who was at COP21: TedTalk Video
Learn about the Paris agreement: United Nations Video
Read the Agreement: Paris Agreement 2015

Leading By Example 

Read the Apex Sustainability Program Initiatives Report, which includes Achievements, Current and Near-Term projects, and Comprehensive Initiatives the Apex Sustainability Team is driven to achieve. Read the Staff Sustainability Report, which includes Staff perspectives on Sustainability and helped inform the Initiatives Report! 

Clean Energy


-- Today, there are rooftop solar PV installations on 9 Town buildings, with plans to install solar on 3 additional buildings undergoing new construction.
-- The Apex Sustainability Team is creating a Greenhouse Gas Inventory to track operational fossil fuel-based emissions and set goals to reach 80% Clean Energy by 2035 and 100% Clean Energy by 2050 for town operations. 

-- The Apex Sustainability Team and Program are born!
-- The Apex Finance Committee of the Town Council hosts a meeting with invitation to the public and discussed potential changes to the Town's solar rate structure. The Committee has decided to make no changes to solar metering at this time. The meeting presentation is available. 

-- Town of Apex is designated as a Gold-Level SolSmart Community.
-- Town Council passes the 100% Resolution with goals like 100% Clean Energy by 2050 for town operations. Clean Energy is defined as transitioning energy consumed and stored by the Town of Apex operations from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable energy including Solar, Wind, Tidal and Wave, Hydroelectric, and Geothermal. 

-- Town Council adopts a budget with $500,000 earmarked for solar PV systems on town buildings.
-- Town Council approves changes to policy making it faster, easier and more affordable for Apex homes and businesses to install solar. 

-- Town Council authorizes a budget for two Solar Photovoltaic (PV) pilot projects to establish design, construction and energy management skills.

LED Lights

Beginning in 2018, the Town of Apex is transitioning all outdoor lighting to LED (light-emitting diode) fixtures. Adoption of the new LED fixtures is a transition over to energy efficient, lower maintenance devices that provide immediate cost savings to the town and town citizens. The Apex Sustainability Team is currently investigating the feasibility between a gradual transition and a full, singular conversion.

Clean Transportation

Efficient Town Fleet 

-- The Apex Public Works and Transportation Department is contracted with the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) and CST Fleet Services for a Fleet Assessment. The Assessment will deliver a Right-Sizing Plan, Vehicle Replacement and Infrastructure Support Plan for the next 10 years, recommendations for efficiency of vehicle support, and an evaluation of how well the Town follows the best practices and recommendations for improvements. 

-- The 100% Resolution includes the goal to transition Apex municipal vehicle fleet to plug-in hybrid vehicles or all electric vehicles by 2050.
-- The NCCETC awards the Town of Apex as an NC Smart Fleet Supporter at the 2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo. 

-- The Town of Apex is awarded the Air Quality Improvement Grant through the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology Project with the NCCETC. The grant funds a retrofit of 3 municipal bucket lift truck vehicles with smart electric power take-off (PTO) units to shorten idling periods and reduce vehicle emissions. 

-- The Town of Apex is awarded a grant through the North Carolina Solar Center at NC State University, using federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding provided by the NC Department of Transportation. The grant funding allows the purchase of 4 clean fleet vehicles and 2 EV chargers: 

  • 3 all-electric Nissan Leafs, averaging 98 miles per gasoline equivalent, replaces 3 Ford Ranger trucks, which averaged 18 miles per gallons and were used by utility meter readers.
  • 1 new, plug-in, range-extended hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt replaces a 1996 Ford Crown Victoria also averaging 18 mpg, utilized as a motor pool vehicle.
  • 2 dual Level 2 electric vehicle chargers are installed at Town Hall to recharge these new EV/PHEV vehicles (not intended for public use).

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations

-- Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations 2021 Apex has been awarded $24,000 toward Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations for town operations. Funds were awarded following a competitive application process as part of the North Carolina Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Program. The charging stations are being installed at the Town's Public Works campus and new Electric Utilities facility and will support the Town's growing electric fleet. 

-- As part of grant programs through North Carolina State University, the North Carolina Solar Center and Advanced Energy, an electric vehicle charging station has been was installed in the Saunders Street parking lot across from the Police Station in downtown Apex. Learn more about the 3 charging spaces in this location, which are all free for general public use. 

Waste Management

100% Zero Waste Goal

The Apex Sustainability Team is expanding upon municipal recycling and paper reduction efforts to set a 100% Zero Waste Goal for town operations. The Team is working with Waste Reduction Partners to analyze municipal waste usage, identify waste reduction strategies, and implement zero waste practices in the workplace.

Green Buildings

Town Building Efficiency

The Apex Sustainability Team is working with Waste Reduction Partners to conduct professional Level 2 Energy Assessments on all Town buildings to strategize for top efficiency.


Apex Climate Vulnerability Assessment

The Apex Sustainability Team was awarded membership into the 18-month Integrated Climate Action Planning (ICAP) Cohort organized by ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability. The ICAP Cohort is a structured technical assistance program to guide local governments through developing a Climate Vulnerability Assessment. A Climate Vulnerability Assessment is defined as that of which identifies where health susceptibilities exist due to climate change, which will continue to alter the magnitude, frequency, duration, and geographic extent of various climate-related exposures that are detrimental to human health.