The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) announced that solar installations have started for the first 50 households involved with its Solar Savings Grant Program, which is providing rooftop solar projects for low- and moderate-income homeowners.
“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.”
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.
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 $12 million 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.