Tuesday, January 19, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAYOR NUTTER SIGNS LEGISLATION, ANNOUNCES MEASURES TO INCREASE CITY ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND SAVE MONEY
Philadelphia, January 19, 2010 – At a bill signing ceremony today for legislation requiring higher energy efficiency standards for new City government buildings and renovations, Mayor Michael A. Nutter outlined new steps being taken by the City of Philadelphia to improve energy efficiency in City government buildings, create jobs, and achieve immediate and long-term energy cost savings. These measures are major steps towards achieving the goal of reducing City government energy consumption by 30% by 2015 as outlined in Greenworks Philadelphia.
“These initiatives are a great example of the City government leading by example and not asking others to do anything that we are not prepared to do ourselves,” said Mayor Nutter. “If we can improve our energy efficiency then dollars not spent on energy bills can go to making new investments in our city and providing the services that many rely upon. Furthermore, making these types of investments and improvements to City buildings creates jobs and business opportunities at a time when we are focused on putting Philadelphians back to work.”
Mayor Nutter announced that the City of Philadelphia has selected NORESCO, an Energy Service Company (ESCO), to carry out an energy audit to determine the feasibility of Energy Conservation Measures to be implemented in City’s “Quadplex” buildings (City Hall, Municipal Services Building, One Parkway and the Criminal Justice Center). An ESCO is a financing mechanism which allows the City to make energy efficiency improvements paid for by the energy savings achieved from the capital improvements. This 15-year tax-exempt equipment lease arrangement, under the Pennsylvania Guaranteed Energy Savings Agreement (GESA) program, would be guaranteed by the ESCO which must pay the difference if there is any shortfall between the energy savings and the lease payments.
Under Pennsylvania’s GESA a municipality, such as the City of Philadelphia, contracts with an ESCO to perform an energy audit on targeted buildings and install Energy Conservation Measures on the municipality’s behalf. The City is currently finalizing details of this audit with NORESCO and the audit, once it begins, should take approximately 25 weeks to complete. These improvements, which could include lighting upgrades, energy management systems, water conservation measures, and new chillers and heating boilers, can decrease a facility’s energy demand by as much as 20% annually, all paid for with the savings generated by the investments.
NORESCO was selected by an inter-departmental evaluation and selection committee using the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s RFP process on the basis of technical capacity, related experience, and cost. Their proposal also contains aggressive minority, women, and disabled owned business participation rates for future contracting. The City will review all subcontractor issues in the Economic Opportunity Plan process.
“Contracting with an ESCO is a clear demonstration that this Administration is serious about energy efficiency and committed to reducing energy costs throughout our facilities,” said Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability. “Obviously there are challenges when dealing with aging City facilities but this audit will help us determine what is feasible and the most appropriate steps that we can take to save money.”
Mayor Nutter made the announcement at a bill signing ceremony in City Hall at which he signed legislation, introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and passed by City Council, which calls for new construction and major renovation of large City government buildings to be designed, constructed, and certified at the silver level of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The LEED-silver requirement within Bill No. 080025 applies to construction projects over 10,000 square feet that are primarily funded by City capital dollars and are controlled by the City. The ordinance requires that projects to be designed and constructed use at least 20% less energy than basic code-compliant structures. It applies to capital projects undertaken by all departments and agencies across the City, including the Airport, Water Department, and Public Property.
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Councilman Jim Kenney was also present at the bill signing ceremony to discuss his legislation which requires all new commercial and residential construction to install reflective roofs to reduce cooling costs and energy usage across Philadelphia.
“This bill is a simple step to reduce energy consumption and is virtually cost-neutral for new construction,” Kenney said. “Reflective roofs offer both environmental and financial advantages over traditional roofs and, by requiring them, I hope to spur a new wave of more energy efficient building practices amongst our city’s construction projects.”
The City of Philadelphia, under the leadership of Director of Sustainability Katherine Gajewski, is taking a number of steps to improve energy efficiency, save money, and progress towards the Greenworks Philadelphia goal of reducing City government energy consumption by 30% by 2015. Such measures include securing Recovery Act funding to develop a robust energy management program, building a sophisticated energy management database, creating target energy budgets for City departments, and developing an energy conservation education campaign for City employees.
“With the commitment of my Administration, the leadership of members of Council, and the support of communities across this city, Philadelphia is quickly putting itself on the map as a leading city when it comes to sustainability,” said Mayor Nutter. “I want to thank Councilwoman Reynolds Brown and Councilman Kenney for their leadership and partnership on these issues that are central to the future of Philadelphia and to the future of our planet.”
For more information on the Nutter Administration’s sustainability framework please visit http://www.greenworksphila.org.