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|Patricia A. Gillett|
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|PHILADELPHIA ENERGY AUTHORITY FLIPS THE SWITCH ON PA’S FIRST FIRST LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME SOLAR PILOT WITH 50TH INSTALLATION|
|Philadelphia, PA — The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) joined with City and Federal leadership today to announce the completion of the City’s first program to provide subsidized rooftop solar installations for low-and moderate-income homeowners. Solar installations have been completed at 50 homes from 26 zip codes across the City who are participating in the pilot phase of PEA’s Solar Savings Grant Program, ensuring that all Philadelphians benefit from the transition to clean energy. |
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) said, “Philadelphia Energy Authority’s solar initiatives put a spotlight on the city’s residential and commercial solar market potential. Solarize Philly makes it possible for all homeowners and businesses to go solar while saving money, creating jobs and improving public health and the environment. Solar is a win-win for Philadelphia.”
“The Solar Savings Grant Program demonstrates that clean energy programs can be modeled in an equitable and inclusive way. The Program serves as a regional example while laying the groundwork for local communities to go solar,” said Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez who represents Philadelphia’s 7th District.
The participants for the pilot were homeowners from across 26 zip codes having a total household income of less than 80% of the Area Median Income. PEA provided subsidy to participating households to cover a portion of the total solar installation cost, driving down the price of solar PV systems. For the reminder of the cost, PEA arranged for a consumer-friendly solar loan. PEA did not require a minimum credit score or any upfront cost for participation in the pilot. Solar panels are warrantied to produce for 25 years and participants will see electric bill savings starting in Year 1.
“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 Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At-Large).
“The Solarize Philly program is a step in the right direction to make solar inclusive for all. The process for participating in the program was easy, and all I had to do was sign up and follow along through the process,” shared Said Bellam, a Solarize Philly, Solar Savings Grant Program participant. “Going solar is my contribution to help the environment and community. I started with taking small steps such as buying a bicycle and reducing plastic waste. Powering my home with renewable energy through solar is a dream come true! I can now reduce carbon emissions and save on my electric bill at the same time.”
“Solar States has a mission to make solar ownership accessible for all Philadelphians and we were proud to be able to see that through our partnership with PEA and the Solar Savings Grant program,” said Micah Gold-Markel, Founder and CEO of Solar States, a local B-corp certified solar company. Solar States was the installation partner for the pilot phase of the program. “We look forward to expanding this program to get solar on more homes and to create more living wage jobs for people in these communities.”
The Solar Savings Grant Program was made possible by a combination of public and private funding. Funding sources include support from Solarize Philly, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), and Solar States. Loans were primarily funded by Centennial Parkside Community Development Corporation using grants from Spark Therapeutics and the William Penn Foundation, supported by tax credits from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Loan funds were also generously provided by Firstrust Bank. Loans are originated and serviced by the National Energy Improvement Fund (NEIF).
The Philadelphia Green Capital Corp. (PGCC), an affiliate of the Philadelphia Energy Authority, was also instrumental in supporting the Solar Savings Grant Program. Through creative financing support, including loan loss reserves and a revolving fund for the solar renewable energy credits generated by the projects, PGCC is making solar more affordable for current program participants and securing capital for additional LMI installations in the future.
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, over 750 homes have gone solar, and over $12MM has been invested in communities across the City.
PEA is partnering with local and national solar developers for the new phase of Solarize Philly. Phase 5 installers include Solar States, Superior Solar Design, PosiGen, and EDP Renewables. Phase 5 offers new financing options to make solar more accessible to all Philadelphians, including homeowners of all incomes and owners of commercial properties of all sizes. Solarize Philly will be open now through the end of November 2021. Any homeowner and business in the city can sign up at www.solarizephilly.org.
|About Philadelphia Energy Authority |
The Philadelphia Energy Authority is an independent municipal authority focused on issues of energy affordability and sustainability for Philadelphia. With the leadership of City Council President Darrell Clarke, PEA runs the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a $1 billion, 10-year investment in energy efficiency and clean energy projects to create 10,000 jobs. PEA has supported over $167 million in projects and created over 1700 jobs so far. Learn more at www.philaenergy.org.
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.