In Bobby Henon, Council News, Curtis Jones, Jr., Darrell L. Clarke, News by admin

Schools Issue RFP for Pilot as Part of 10-Year 10,000 Energy Jobs Campaign

Philadelphia, March 20, 2017 – City Council and the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) on Monday announced a commitment to develop up to $345 million in energy efficiency projects that will yield cost savings for schools and help address the District’s capital improvement needs.

The pilot program will be supported by the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) as part of its $1 billion 10-year energy efficiency campaign to upgrade buildings, homes, and businesses across the city and create 10,000 energy sector jobs in the City of Philadelphia. Over the last six months, the School District and PEA developed an Energy Performance Contracting pilot program, focused on three schools, in which energy efficiency improvements will be paid for through cost savings, with no impact on the District’s budget.

City Council members, School District leaders, and the Philadelphia Energy Authority were joined by representatives of organized labor and sustainable energy advocates for an announcement of the program at Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School in Roxborough.

“Leveraging public and private investment to empower School District buildings to become more energy efficient and sustainable was always a goal of the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, but last January’s report on the District’s $4.5 billion in deferred capital needs created a new urgency,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke said. “I asked the PEA to identify financing and projects that could go online as soon as possible, and I am proud to say they have come through. This collaboration between the PEA and School District, which could yield up to $345 million in new funding, comes at no additional cost to taxpayers, and could result in as much as $600 million in energy savings over 20 years. The three-school pilot will form a model on which to scale up and eventually address many more schools’ energy infrastructure needs.”

“The purpose of this energy pilot program is to determine if targeted energy investments through capital investments in our schools achieve enough savings to fund recurring capital improvements,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia. “This type of investment in our facilities can have short- and long-term benefits — and the pilot program will allow us to go about this in a smart way. This is part of our overall belief that all schools can be great.”

“The School District’s commitment to the process of identifying energy savings projects during capital planning is a big deal,” said Emily Schapira, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Energy Authority. “Many of the capital projects the District needs are also projects that will save energy. This commitment allows the District to bulk finance those projects, like boilers, lighting, building controls and more, through energy savings. PEA pledges to work with the School District to provide expertise and facilitate this process.”

The initial phase of the PEA-SDP collaboration will be a three-school Energy Performance Contracting pilot, which will be implemented this year and will inform future, scaled-up phases. While details of the projects are contingent on an RFP (Request for Proposals) process, they will likely include work on boilers, temperature and building controls, lighting, windows, roofs, HVAC systems, and insulation. A District RFP for Energy Performance Engineering Services was issued on Monday.

The PEA-SDP collaboration will leverage Pennsylvania’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) to use energy savings to pay for capital improvements. Up to $345 million in capital work at the District will be covered by energy performance contracts through GESA, resulting in up to $600 million in savings to the District over 20 years, at no budgetary cost to the District.

“Every broken thermostat represents work that could be done by thousands of skilled technicians and laborers in Philadelphia,” Councilman Bobby Henon (6th District) said. “The Philadelphia Energy Authority’s 10-Year Energy Campaign will not only create cost efficiencies and make our city more sustainable, it will put Philadelphians to work. I applaud Dr. Hite and the School District for being our partners in this effort.”

“I’m proud to host this announcement at Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School, which participates in the District’s Energy Education program. The students and staff here know how important energy efficiency and waste reduction are for the environment,” Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th District) said. “The District’s collaboration with the Philadelphia Energy Authority is an example of outside-of-the-box creativity that’s necessary when needs are greater than budgets. I thank the PEA and Dr. Hite for coming up with a winning solution to address schools’ capital needs at no additional cost to taxpayers.”

Among the diverse coalition of labor and energy organizations joining City Council and the School District at Lankenau were: Principal Joshua Levinson; PEA Board members Adam Agalloco, Chairman Chris Lewis, and Vice Chair Mitchell Swann; PECO; PGW; the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; Ameresco; ECG Engineering; Practical Energy Solutions; Noresco; Siemens; The Efficiency Network; SEIU; AFSCME; Carpenters; and Constellation Energy.

The Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Opportunity Assessment for the School District is available here:

The School District’s Energy Performance Engineering Services RFP is available here:

Watch video of the press conference:


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Council President Darrell L. Clarke is serving his second term as the President of Philadelphia City Council. He represents Philadelphia’s 5th Council District. More information at

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