Philadelphia, PA – The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) joined with City leadership today to announce the outcomes of City’s first program to provide rooftop solar installations for low- and moderate-income homeowners, in celebration of Earth Day 2021. Installations have started for the first 50 households moving forward through PEA’s Solar Savings Grant Program, setting a new precedent of inclusion for Philadelphia’s transition to clean energy.
“Fighting the climate crisis while fully addressing the systemic racial and economic disparities among the City’s residents demands urgent and bold action,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. ”The Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Solar Savings Grant Program is exactly the kind of work we need to be scaling up to address these challenges. We are eager to see the program expanded to ensure that the transition to clean energy is equitable and inclusive.”
“The success of the Solar Savings Grant Program demonstrates that Philadelphians from every neighborhood in the city are ready to participate in the transition to clean energy. It is critical that we support solar adoption in low-income communities and communities of color so that our most vulnerable residents can benefit from the savings, jobs, and resilience that result from installing solar on local rooftops,” said Council President Darrell Clarke (5th District).
Philadelphia City Council today passed a resolution, introduced by City Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At Large) honoring the Solar Savings Grant Program for its climate justice impact. “The Philadelphia Energy Authority continues to position Philadelphia as a national leader in using clean energy to drive equitable economic development. This innovative pilot program lays the foundation for thousands more low- and moderate-income households to go solar over the coming years,” said Councilmember Gilmore Richardson.
The participants were homeowners from across 26 city zip codes with household incomes less than 80% of the Area Median Income. PEA provided a grant to cover two-thirds of the total solar installation cost, with the remainder provided through a low-cost loan. There was no credit requirement and no upfront cost for participation, with savings starting in Year 1.
Cheri Avery Black, a Solar Savings Grant Program participant shared, “I am so grateful to be able to power our home with sunshine, nature’s clean, renewable energy, while also saving significant money on our family’s electric bills. I didn’t really have to do anything but say yes to the program. And we’re so glad we did! We’re pleased to show off our solar panels and to encourage others to participate.”
The Solar Savings Grant Program was made possible with support from Solarize Philly, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Solar States, Centennial Parkside Community Development Corporation, the William Penn Foundation, Spark Therapeutics, and the National Energy Improvement Fund. “As you can see, this program took a lot of creative collaboration from our partners, and I am grateful for the leadership of Laura Rigell, our Director of Development, who worked tirelessly over the last two years to stand up this program,” said Emily Schapira, PEA’s President and CEO.
The Solar Savings Grant Program is a part of Solarize Philly, a citywide program to help all Philadelphians go solar. Since the launch of the program in 2017, nearly 6,500 Philadelphia homeowners have expressed interest in the program, over 750 homes have gone solar, and over $12MM has been invested in communities across the city. Solarize Philly is the largest initiative of its kind in the country. The Philadelphia Energy Authority will reopen Solarize Philly for Phase 5 in May 2021. Any homeowner and business in the city can sign up at www.solarizephilly.org.
About the Philadelphia Energy Authority
The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) is an independent municipal authority created in 2010 to advance energy affordability and sustainability for the City. PEA has facilitated over $167 million in clean energy projects in Philadelphia since launching the Philadelphia Energy Campaign in 2016, creating more than 1,700 jobs.
About Philadelphia City Council
Philadelphia City Council is the legislative arm of Philadelphia municipal government. Keep up with Council on phlcouncil.com, and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.