In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Jamie Gauthier, News by PHL Council

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PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) today announced the launch of two new financing tools to accelerate clean energy investment in multifamily housing and non-profit properties, which will reduce utility bills for tenants and owners, and create jobs for Philadelphians.

“Practical, economical investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy in multifamily properties can save upwards of 25% on energy costs, which means savings for the owners and tenants. However, many property owners remain hesitant to take projects on, especially in light of the economic stress brought on by COVID,” said Alon Abramson, Program Manager at the Philadelphia Energy Authority. “PEA is stepping in to give owners additional tools to execute projects.”

The new loan products – Navigator and Catalyst –are designed specifically for owners of multifamily and non-profit properties serving low-income Philadelphians. PEA is launching these loans in partnership with Inclusive Prosperity Capital (IPC), a non-profit financial firm that has underwritten hundreds of loans to boost energy efficiency for residential and commercial buildings.
“Our partnership with PEA allows us to work collectively to unlock energy savings, locally driven economic development, and improved health outcomes for the residents of Philadelphia,” said Kerry O’Neill, CEO of IPC. “Our Catalyst and Navigator Loans were designed to assist non-profit and multifamily building owners who otherwise might not consider green energy upgrades to improve their properties and reduce operating costs.”

The Navigator pre-development loan is a simple, unsecured line of credit designed to pay for scoping and design of an energy project at a low 1.99% interest for up to 24 months for affordable housing properties. Owners who need additional funding to make their energy improvements can use the Catalyst Loan. The unsecured Catalyst Loan offers terms of 7 years at 5.79% and up to 20 years at 6.99% interest rates, respectively, and can cover construction costs from $50,000 up to $2 million. IPC ensures that the project is designed to save more than the monthly loan amounts, which is the mark of a good investment for the owner and lender.

“These new financial tools from partners of the Philadelphia Energy Authority will help lower energy costs in our affordable housing stock across the city,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District). “It means more energy-efficient and healthier housing in the long run for our residents. It’s a win-win. When we formed the Energy Authority, the primary goals were to encourage the smarter, more efficient use of energy in our municipal buildings and affordable housing stock, and creating more jobs through green energy. This is another project from PEA that will help achieve both those goals.”

“Now more than ever, it is crucial that we find new ways to invest in Philadelphia’s affordable multifamily housing to keep those apartments accessible,” said Councilmember Jamie Gauthier (3rd District). “These new programs from the Philadelphia Energy Authority will give homeowners a chance to make improvements that will cut energy bills, while at the same time making the buildings healthier and more comfortable.”

The IPC loan products fit with PEA’s larger strategy of creating and facilitating financing options to fill gaps in Philadelphia’s clean energy economy. In line with that strategy, PEA is launching the Philadelphia Green Capital Corp., a green financing affiliate that will manage the IPC loan products, among others. PEA will release more information on the Philadelphia Green Capital Corp. in the coming months.

Veteran players in the clean energy industry are enthusiastic about new tools to support this work. Douglas R. Miller, the Operations Manager for Existing Buildings and Design at MaGrann Associates explained that “older apartments have an enormous opportunity to improve the performance, comfort and value of their building.”

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 $136 million in clean energy projects in Philadelphia since launching the Philadelphia Energy Campaign in 2016, creating more than 1,300 jobs. 

About Inclusive Prosperity Capital
Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Inc. (“IPC”) is a not-for-profit investment fund scaling clean energy financing solutions that channels investment capital to program partners in communities that need it most. As a spin-out and strategic partner of the Connecticut Green Bank, IPC is focused on scaling its work in Connecticut and expanding its successful model nationwide by accessing mission-driven capital and partnerships.

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