Philadelphia, July 26, 2018 – Mayor Jim Kenney, Pa. Rep. Donna Bullock (195th Legislative District), Councilmember Bill Greenlee (At-Large), PECO, and the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) on Thursday helped activate the 150th Solarize Philly installation. Students from PEA’s clean energy training program flipped the switch on the landmark rooftop solar project at the home of Fairmount resident Joan Kimball.
“Philadelphia is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. That’s why I committed the City of Philadelphia to transition to 100% renewable energy,” said Mayor Kenney. “I commend Solarize Philly for inviting everyday Philadelphians to be leaders in this important effort.”
Kimball is one of 222 homeowners who have signed contracts for solar energy through Solarize Philly since PEA launched the program in 2017. Solarize Philly is a group buying initiative to make the process of installing residential solar as easy and affordable as possible. Participants benefit from group discounts and consumer protections.
On Thursday, PEA extended the Solarize Philly deadline to September 30th, so that interested homeowners have another chance to sign up for the discount program. More than 3,500 households to date have signed up for Solarize in order to receive a free solar assessment of their home. Any homeowner in the city can sign up at www.solarizephilly.org.
PECO joined PEA at the event to publicly announce the success of its smart inverter pilot program. Alternate inverter options, which will allow solar installation in areas where it was previously difficult or even impossible, will now be available to solar homeowners and those looking to install solar in the PECO service territory. This innovative technology allows even more homeowners the opportunity to interconnect solar across Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Solarize Philly supports solar job training for Philadelphia high school students. PEA is administering the PECO-funded “Find Your Power” clean energy training program to a new cohort of 20 students this summer. The students flipped the switch on Kimball’s solar installation and watched as the first kilowatt-hours of solar energy flowed into her home.
PEA has a goal of making solar more accessible and has added a new financing option for homeowners who may not qualify for private financing. Eligibility requirements for this solar lease can be found at solarizephilly.org.
The Philadelphia Energy Authority administers Solarize Philly as part of City Council’s $1 billion Philadelphia Energy Campaign, which seeks to advance energy efficiency and clean energy in buildings across the City, collect significant cost savings for property owners and taxpayers, and create 10,000 jobs over 10 years. PEA is an independent office created by City Council to further clean and affordable energy goals.
“Solarize Philly provides a real solution to some of Philadelphia’s greatest challenges: climate change and unemployment,” said Councilmember William K. Greenlee (At-Large). “As a lifelong resident of Fairmount, I’m happy to see my neighbors switching to solar through this program and I hope others will consider making the change as well.”
“Solarize Philly is advancing environmental justice in Philadelphia, by training our young people for green jobs and making solar accessible for all Philadelphians,” state Rep. Donna Bullock (195th Legislative District) added. “Philadelphia will be better off as more households participate in this innovative program.”
“I’d thought about adding solar panels to my roof for years, and when a friend told me about Solarize Philly, I jumped on the chance to enroll,” Fairmount resident Kimball said. “I’m so happy to generate most of my own electricity from the sun and do my part to help the planet.”
“Solarize Philly is already one of the most successful residential solar programs in the country,” PEA Solar Manager Laura Rigell said. “This deadline extension means that even more homeowners can access the discounts through our program.”
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided seed funding for Solarize Philly as part of the Solar in Your Community Challenge – a federal initiative to support innovative and replicable community-based programs to bring solar to underserved communities across the country.
Other Solarize Philly Phase 2 Press Conference Press:
KYW News Radio: Solarize Philly helps residents cash in on natural energy