At a time when access to capital is constrained, the City of Philadelphia created the Greenworks Loan and Rebate Fund in partnership with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) to help businesses finance energy-efficient building practices, materials, and equipment for major renovations and new construction projects. The Greenworks Loan Fund began with $9 million in capital, blending funds from the City's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) formula funding and public and private dollars through TRF.
In April 2010, Philadelphia was one of 25 communities to be awarded a competitive EECBG Retrofit Ramp-up grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The City and our partners will receive $25 million to transform the energy efficiency retrofit market in the Philadelphia area. Funding from the Greenworks Loan Fund and Keystone HELP will provide capital for energy efficiency improvements to both homeowners and businesses in the five-county region.
In May 2010, Mayor Nutter signed legislation, introduced by Councilman James Kenney, requiring all new construction in the City to use highly reflective roofing materials that meet or exceed Energy Star cool roof standards. Cool roofs are constructed or coated with a reflective material that deflects the sun's light and heat, reducing indoor temperature on hot days, extending the life of the roof, and reducing the outdoor air temperature of the surrounding area. Cool roofs have installation costs similar to traditional roofs, but ultimately lower building maintenance costs by extending the life of the roof and by reducing cooling expenses by up to 20 percent. The cool roof law is a key first step toward the City's anticipated adoption of green building standards.
The Greenworks Loan Fund will make loans ranging from $100,000 to $1 million at below-market interest rates. The Greenworks Rebate Program ensures that small businesses have access to capital to improve their energy efficiency by refunding up to 50 percent of the cost of energy retrofits up to $10,000. The program also offers free energy audits to qualifying businesses.
Listen to Janet Milkman, Executive Director of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, on greening the building stock in Philadelphia.
Listen to Mike Fink, Deputy Commissioner for Development in the Philadelphia Department of Licenses & Inspections, on how enforcing the building code helps lower Philadelphia's demand for energy.
Listen to Tim McDonald, founding member of Onion Flats, on how buildings can be energy producers.