Long standing energy efficiency programs have benefitted from an infusion of additional funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Over the past two years, thousands of Philadelphia homeowners have received energy retrofit assistance. Since the beginning of 2010, the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation have completed over 2,300 retrofits through the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).
To meet program demand, ECA, which has provided energy auditing and retrofit services in Philadelphia for the past two decades, doubled in size. Since early 2010, the Green Jobs Training Center at ECA has prepared hundreds of workers to meet the demand for weatherization work in the region.
Philadelphia’s electric and gas utilities are also playing an important role in improving home energy efficiency across the city. In 2011, PGW announced EnergySense, a five-year $60 million program that offers energy audits, rebates, and incentives to all of its customers. EnergySense’s Enhanced Low Income Retrofit Program expands an existing program to reach 2,000 homes each year and provide an average of 20% energy savings. PECO, which launched Smart Ideas last year, also provides incentives, rebates, and energy saving tips to all Philadelphia residents. The residential program focuses on home electricity use reduction and provides rebates for the purchase of Energy Star appliances, discounts on Energy Star light bulbs, and bill credits for customers who enroll in their air conditioning PECO Smart Ideas A/C Saver program.