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PEA Hosts Multifamily Housing Green Retrofit Workshop

On November 23rd the Philadelphia Energy Authority held a Multifamily Housing Green Retrofit Accelerator Workshop with BlocPower, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Philadelphia service providers, and property owners. BlocPower and Inclusive Prosperity Capital joined PEA to debut and demo new tools soon to be available in Philadelphia to assist property owners in designing, financing, and implementing energy efficiency projects in multifamily properties housing low-income households.

Alon Abramson, Program Manager at PEA led the workshop and discussion about low and moderate income green housing to start paving the way to assisting property owners and operators to execute these projects. The role of PEA in this market is to use clean energy to accelerate development and, deeply pertinent at this moment in time, to assist in improving public health. This work is a part of PEA’s Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a 10 year initiative to stimulate $1 billion of clean energy investment and create 10,000 jobs in Philadelphia municipal, school district, residential, and commercial properties.

BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based energy technology startup, introduced BlocMaps Philly, a tool that will be launched in early 2021. BlocPower was selected by the City of New York to help solve the problem that this workshop was beginning to tackle: how do you complete energy efficient retrofits in small and medium sized apartment buildings with low available capital? BlocMaps offers the first step by providing a digital model and database of Philadelphia multifamily buildings with information about the potential for energy savings interventions in those properties. The modeling is being done by with public and private building data, including energy benchmarking data, building audit reports, and utility bill history. 

Inclusive Prosperity Capital is a non profit financial institution and has partnered with PEA to introduce predevelopment and project implementation loans. IPC designs their products to help owners and residents save on energy and operating costs, improve living and working conditions, and preserve affordable housing. These new loans are specifically created to address older properties that need energy improvements. The Navigator predevelopment loan is designed to help owners assess the energy efficient design that will deliver the highest return on investment. The Catalyst project implementation loan product is made to fund the cost of implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and health and safety improvements for building retrofits.

The attendees of the workshop were broken into small groups in between demos. The groups consisted of both property owners, service providers and engaged in discussions about: finding services for assessment and design of energy efficiency projects, assessing the initial viability of a project, and securing project financing. To learn more about these new tools and how PEA is tackling these challenges, visit this page. You can also watch a recording of the workshop and read the discussion takeaways

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