Even during the budget crisis, the City of Philadelphia was able to build capacity to change our energy management practices in 2009 and 2010 with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's innovative Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). The City hired a new Energy Manager to focus on energy policy and procurement and an Energy Conservation Coordinator to promote awareness of energy use and conservation among City employees and help each department lower its energy use by 10 percent during Fiscal Year 2011. With EECBG funds the City was also able to purchase an energy-management database that allows departments to monitor energy use online and track their progress toward reduction targets.
To show citizens that Philadelphia is committed to reducing energy usage, the City government is leading by example. The City has selected a company to perform an Investment Grade Audit of our four main office buildings and to suggest improvements that will help the City move toward our target of a 30 percent reduction in energy use. In January 2010, Mayor Nutter signed legislation, introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, requiring all new construction and major renovations of large City government buildings to meet Silver Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council. These actions exemplify the City's new approach to energy use which carefully considers life-cycle costs of procurement choices and payback on investments in energy infrastructure.