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Philly Makes Solar (More) Affordable, Mayor Kenney Signs 2 Clean Energy Bills to Celebrate Solar Week
Energy

Philly Makes Solar (More) Affordable, Mayor Kenney Signs 2 Clean Energy Bills to Celebrate Solar Week

Yesterday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed two clean energy bills into law halfway into the city’s Solar Week. The bills target both residential and commercial buildings, providing incentives to build solar projects on both.

“Philadelphia is ramping up our efforts to fight climate change and convert to renewable energy,” said Mayor Jim Kenney at the signing. “We know that climate change is already impacting our city, neighborhoods like Hunting Park are hotter than others, which can have a negative impact on the health and well-being of residents. That’s why we are committed to upholding the Paris agreement and to transitioning to 100 percent clean energy as part of our long-term goal  to reduce citywide carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.”

The first of the two bills, which created a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE, program, will allow commercial and industrial building owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through their property tax payment. This legislation is expected to lead to substantial carbon reductions and provide significant bill savings for participating buildings.

“Here in Philadelphia, just as we are moving the needle dramatically on solar projects for our residents and helping them to lower their utility bills via the success of programs like Solarize Philly, we are now able to do the same for our commercial and industrial building owners,” said Councilmember Derek Green.

The other bill signed into law, created Philly’s first solar rebate program, which will provide an incentive payment of $0.20 per watt for residential solar projects and $0.10 per watt for commercial projects. The program has an initial allocation of $500,000, and the rebates will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. It’s important to note that the legislation allows for prioritizing low-income households in order to make the benefits of going solar accessible to all of the city’s residents.

Rebate applications will start to be accepted in January 2020, and any solar project installed after July 1, 2019, will be eligible to apply. About 80 percent of Philadelphia’s suitable rooftop space will need to be producing clean electricity for residents and businesses to meet the city’s climate goals, so this program’s direct financial incentive to residents and businesses in order to help them install solar panels on their homes and buildings is vital to the effort. All Philly homeowners and businesses are encouraged to go to www.solarizephilly.org to sign up for a free solar assessment.

Councilmember Blondell Reynolds-Brown explained the significance of the rebate program: “Through the Philly Solar Rebate Program, Philadelphia businesses and residents will be eligible to receive locally-sponsored incentives for installation of solar, which helps to fill the gap left by the expiring Federal tax credit. This program will enable our City to move strategically in the direction toward a cleaner and greener Philadelphia.”

Interested in going solar?

Looking for more information on other Philadelphia Solar Week events?


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Avatar
Madeleine Jones, who goes by her last name, is the Editorial Intern at Green Philly. She is new to Philadelphia and recently graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, with a bachelor's in Environmental Studies and International Studies. Jones spends her free time with her nose buried in books, sampling Philly's vegan restaurants, fawning over her pet mouse, and filling out job applications. View all posts by Jones

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