April 27, 2017
A new energy initiative was launched this week to allow Philadelphia residents to install environmentally-friendly material on their homes at lower costs.
On Thursday, Philadelphia City Council members unveiled the Solarize Philly campaign, which aims to incentivize homeowners to invest in solar technology and create jobs to grow the local economy. Representatives from PECO and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission were also on hand for the press conference atop the Free Library of Philadelphia's Parkway Central branch in Center City.
Operated by the Philadelphia Energy Authority, the program will offer discounts to 500 city residents to install solar panels on their homes. Experts say the investment will ultimately save homeowners money by insulating them from the rising cost of energy.
Interested residents can sign up for a free assessment and project quote from solar companies selected by the city, beginning July 1 through September 30. The companies will reduce the price for homeowners who move forward with the project. PEA officials said the cost will be lower as more households register.
The program also promises to create 75 sustainable jobs in the next 18 months. According to industry standards, 15 jobs are needed for every 100 solar households. If the project proves successful, more workers will be needed.
To help promote job opportunities in the field, the School District of Philadelphia will offer a six-week course on solar installation. Administrators also plan to offer an elective program this fall for students.
City officials estimate more than 120,000 rooftops are currently eligible for solar panels.