To encourage sustainable building practices, North Carolina law allows all counties and cities to provide reductions or partial rebates for building permit fees. To qualify for a fee reduction, buildings must meet guidelines established by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the Green Globes program, or another recognized certification program.
SB 1597 of 2008 also granted authority to a few select jurisdictions to provide density bonuses, make adjustments to otherwise applicable development requirements, or provide other incentives to a developer or builder who builds or reconstructs developments which make a significant contribution to the reduction of energy consumption. The local jurisdiction is free to determine their own eligibility criteria based on generally recognized standards including LEED or other national or regional certification programs. Originally limited to just 1 county, 7 cities and 7 towns, this authority was granted to all counties, cities and towns by SB 52 of 2009.