CITY COUNCIL, PEA ENCOURAGE PHILLY HOMEOWNERS TO SIGN UP FOR SOLAR ENERGY PROGRAM

In Blondell Reynolds Brown, Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Derek Green by PHL Council

Solarize Philly to Offer Affordable Residential Solar Panel Installation

Philadelphia, June 22, 2017 – City Council and the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) on Thursday announced the start of an open enrollment period for Solarize Philly, a program that will offer affordable options to homeowners interested in transitioning to sustainable, low-emissions solar energy.

Solarize Philly will begin enrolling interested and qualified homeowners on July 1, 2017. More than 525 Philadelphia households have already signed up to receive discounted group pricing on solar energy options since the program was announced in April.

“This unprecedented monumental partnership will give homeowners access to new opportunities to invest in affordable solar energy while supporting a growing industry in the City of Philadelphia,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown (At-Large), Chair of the Committee on the Environment. “Solarize Philly will increase homeownership retention and affordability through actual energy savings. The program will offer new opportunities for young people to gain valuable real-life work experience prior to graduation and the training required to join the industry in the future. City Council and PEA are making sure that Philly remains ahead of the pack in growing a sustainable city.”

Earlier this month, Philadelphia joined more than 300 cities across the country in committing to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement following the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. federal government from the historic 2016 global accord.

This residential solar expansion program is part of the $1 billion Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a sustainable energy initiative announced by Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) to reduce energy costs and create 10,000 energy sector jobs over 10 years in Philadelphia.

Council President Clarke said: “I launched the Philadelphia Energy Campaign to challenge institutions, businesses, and government to take a more creative approach to the challenges of global warming and joblessness. Solarize Philly will create jobs in a growing sector while providing Philly homeowners an opportunity to reduce their bills and shrink their carbon footprint. Solar energy should no longer be viewed as a ‘suburban’ luxury, but as an affordable option toward a more sustainable future.”

Solarize Philly will create 75 living-wage, career jobs, according to PEA projections. The program also will expand solar training opportunities for City residents. By bringing hundreds of homeowners together, Solarize Philly will drive down the cost of going solar and offer discounted pricing to all participants. The more households that sign up, the deeper the discounts will be. PEA projects the discount could reach $1,000 per home by the end of the open enrollment period on September 30, 2017. All participating homeowners will receive the same rates, discounts, quality products and service, and consumer protections when they buy through Solarize Philly.

“The energetic response we’ve received since announcing Solarize Philly two months ago – more than 525 interested households so far — indicates real pent-up demand for solar in our City,” said PEA Executive Director Emily Schapira. “Residential solar produces a higher number of jobs per dollar invested than any other energy program we could take on. The PEA and our partners in City Council are committed to bringing those jobs to Philadelphia.”

“This first-of-its-kind program has the ability to do amazing things on so many levels for the City of Philadelphia, and it’s not going unrecognized,” Councilman Derek Green (At-Large) added. “The unexpectedly high number of homeowners who have signed up already speaks volumes about the possibilities that Philadelphians will have both economically as well as professionally. Solarize Philly will help our citizens reduce their energy bills while providing jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurship for people throughout the City.”

This summer, in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia’s Career and Technical Education program, PEA will launch a six-week WorkReady Philadelphia course training students in solar installation at Ben Franklin High School’s Renewable Energy Lab – the first such program to be offered by the District. The PEA continues to work with partners citywide to identify and promote opportunities for adults seeking sustainable energy careers.

Following this initial enrollment period for Solarize Philly, another round of enrollment will open for qualified households that are not able to finance solar through traditional methods. Details of the second enrollment period will be announced later this year.

Interested homeowners can sign up to receive a free solar analysis and project quote at www.solarizephilly.org.

Watch the Press Conference:

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