Mayor Peduto of Pittsburgh and Mayor Kenney of Philadelphia have spoken out in support not only of a new federal power plan, but also a way to comply that puts those most vulnerable (those who spend the highest portion of their income on energy bills) first.
The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon pollution from power plants while maintaining reliability and affordability. The Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) is a voluntary program that rewards early investments in renewable energy, especially energy efficiency in low income communities. In a recent article, Mayors Kenny and Peduto outlined the work that each city is doing.
From Mayor Kenny:
“In Philadelphia, we are leading by example: we’ve committed to reducing greenhouse gases 80% by 2050 and are improving energy performance in city-owned facilities. As part of the Rebuilding Community Infrastructure initiative, we are making energy efficient improvements to recreation centers, libraries and other city-owned buildings. We’re releasing an update to our sustainability plan next month and are developing a comprehensive energy master plan that will guide our efforts to substantially increase energy efficiency and renewable energy generation.”
From Mayor Peduto:
“In Pittsburgh, we purchase 30% of our municipal energy from renewable sources, enough to power 3,500 homes a year. The Pittsburgh 2030 District is an exciting public-private collaborative working to create high-performance buildings that will increase the competitiveness of our downtown. Partnering with the Department of Energy, we are advancing several micro-grid and district energy projects across the City.”
The work already being done in each city has the potential to be more impactful with support at the state and federal level. Federal programs like the CPP and the CEIP, which provide significant incentives for energy efficiency, have the potential to enable healthier and higher performing buildings. Higher performing buildings that have significantly reduced energy bills are needed in Pennsylvania, where much of the building stock is older — and we have some of highest energy burdens for low-income communities. The jobs created in Pennsylvania by making buildings more energy efficient have already been well documented, with an estimated 37,000 jobs.