After a robust public comment period, today, the Office of Sustainability (OOS) published the final version of Powering Our Future: A Clean Energy Vision for Philadelphia.
Why a Clean Energy Vision?
Powering Our Future is a step toward meeting Mayor Kenney’s pledge to uphold the U.S. commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement and work toward a 100 percent clean energy future. Because our most vulnerable residents are disproportionately harmed by changes in our climate, the transition to a just energy system that is clean and affordable for all is critical to achieving an equitable Philadelphia.
What’s in the Report?
Powering Our Future covers three major parts of Philadelphia’s energy system: our city’s 600,000 buildings, local industry, and the regional electricity system that powers them. These sectors account for nearly 80% of carbon emissions in Philadelphia, and transforming them will be critical to achieving a clean and just energy future.
OOS focused on three primary goals in creating this report:
- Set new targets for carbon pollution reduction while taking into account critical factors including equity, health, and economic benefits of a clean energy transition.
- Educate Philadelphians about how our energy system works and how we can work together to achieve a clean energy transition.
- Model the impact of new programs and policies to transform our energy system across five
focus areas: Clean Electricity Supply, Citywide Solar, Energy-Efficient Homes and Businesses,
Low-Carbon Thermal Energy, and Low-Carbon Economy.
How Did the Report Change through Public Comment?
Following the draft publication in November 2017, OOS received comments from more than a dozen advocacy groups, individuals, and numerous responses through a public survey about the report. Several larger themes emerged and were integrated into the final report, including:
- Beyond 80 by 50: Climate science increasingly suggests we must work globally to cut carbon emissions as fast and as far as possible. Thoughts on moving beyond the 80 by 50 target are included on page 9 of the report.
- Concrete next steps: Achieving our clean energy vision will take effort by individuals, institutions, and all levels of government. To understand how the City will lead on implementing the vision, OOS will publish a Clean Energy Vision Action Plan in September 2018.
- Summary and simplification: Powering Our Future reflects our complex energy system and the effort it will take to transform it. As an introduction to this work, check out our summary of the report.
What’s Happened, and What’s Next?
Between the publication of the Powering Our Future draft in November 2017 and the final report, the City has made exciting progress on its climate and clean energy goals, including:
- The adoption of the most advanced building energy codes in Philadelphia’s history.
- Implementation of Philadelphia’s Municipal Energy Master Plan, including an energy retrofit of
the Philadelphia Museum of Art and progress toward the City’s first renewable power purchase
- The second round of the Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Solarize Philly program, currently
accepting applications through September 30.