Mayor Nutter, Philadelphia Water Department Celebrate New Biogas Cogeneration Facility

November 22, 2013– Mayor Michael A. Nutter, EPA Region III Administrator Shawn M. Garvin, Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Howard Neukrug, Ameresco, Inc., Bank of America and other federal, state and local officials cut the ribbon and toured the new Biogas Cogeneration Facility at the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant.

“This new facility is another step in furthering the City’s sustainability goals in our Greenworks plan,” said Mayor Nutter. “We are becoming more energy efficient and reducing our use of non-renewable energy sources. We will continue to find innovative ways to use green power because it’s beneficial for the environment and our budget.”

The Biogas Cogeneration Project was designed to generate 5.6 MW of power for on-site use. As a natural byproduct of sewage treatment, biogas can be refined and utilized as fuel for generators and equipment. Carbon emissions are expected to be reduced by nearly 22,000 tons per year, which equates to the removal of 4,833 cars off the road or the planting of 5,390 acres of pine forest. On an annual basis, the project will produce about 85% of all the electrical energy used for plant operations.

“This project is an example of PWD’s commitment to develop waste recovery programs at all of our facilities as part of our pledge to be a sustainable and cost-conscious utility,” said Water Commissioner Neukrug. “Recovering the hidden fuel in our wastewater treatment processes helps to diversify our energy portfolio, while improving the environment through innovative, green technology. The Northeast Biogas Cogeneration Facility demonstrates PWD’s national leadership in transforming the traditional wastewater plant into the resource recovery facility of the future.”

Ameresco, Inc., which engineered, constructed and will oversee the facility, has developed an Economic Opportunity Plan that will bring green jobs to the city. The public-private partnership between the City of Philadelphia and Ameresco, Inc. qualified the project to obtain a grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Energy Services business unit of Bank of America Merrill Lynch agreed to provide the financing for the project.

About the Philadelphia Water Department
The Philadelphia Water Department serves the Greater Philadelphia region by providing integrated water, wastewater, and stormwater services. The utility’s primary mission is to plan for, operate, and maintain both the infrastructure and the organization necessary to purvey high quality drinking water, to provide an adequate and reliable water supply for all household, commercial, and community needs, and to sustain and enhance the region’s watersheds and quality of life by managing wastewater and stormwater effectively.

About Ameresco, Inc.
Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) is a leading independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America. Ameresco’s services include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with federal, state and local governments, healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, MA, Ameresco provides local expertise through its 59 offices in 34 states and five Canadian provinces. Ameresco has more than 850 employees. For more information, visit http://www.ameresco.com

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CITY OF PHILADELPHIA ANNOUNCES SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS TAX CREDIT APPLICATION NOW AVAILABLE

Philadelphia, February 1, 2013– The City of Philadelphia released the application for the Sustainable Business Tax Credit, created by legislation sponsored by Councilman James Kenney and passed by City Council in December 2009. Though the bill was passed in 2009, the ordinance’s language says that the tax credit will be available for tax years 2012 through 2017, and 25 eligible businesses will receive a tax credit of up to $4,000 against the gross receipts portion of the Business Income and Receipts Tax. Businesses may qualify by obtaining B Corporation certification or meeting a list of criteria set by City regulations. The Sustainable Business Tax Credit Pending Regulations and Sustainable Business Tax Credit Application are available on the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability website atwww.phila.gov/green.

 

Philadelphia was the first city in America to adopt a financial incentive for sustainable businesses. The credit formally acknowledges sustainable business practices in Philadelphia and encourages the growth of the local clean economy. Supporting the clean economy will help the City reach its sustainability goals outlined in Greenworks Philadelphia.

 

“The City of Philadelphia is pleased to offer an innovative incentive that promotes the local clean economy and creates an attractive and supportive environment for sustainable business practices,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “We value the work of sustainable businesses and hope this credit encourages the expansion of sustainable practices in Philadelphia.”

 

Since the bill passed in 2009, Pennsylvania and 11 other states have adopted laws supporting sustainable businesses and the B Corporation standard, and the number of certified B Corporations has grown from 240 to 688. For more information on B Corporations, visitwww.bcorporation.net.

MAYOR NUTTER, STREETS DEPARTMENT LAUNCH PHILLY FUTURE TRACK PROGRAM

Philadelphia, January 14, 2013– Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Philadelphia Streets Department announced the launch of a new program called “Philly Future Track,” which will provide job-skills training and real-world work experience to 130 young adults in Philadelphia. Using service as a strategy to build civic and environmental stewardship, Philly Future Track will provide individuals with a paid position involving community service and other life and career building skills during a six-month period.

 

“Philadelphia, like many big cities, faces the challenges of unemployment and city cleanliness, which both have significant impact on the City as a whole,” said Mayor Nutter. “Philly Future Track is a smart strategy to address these challenges by investing in the development and job readiness of Philadelphia’s young adult population. Participants will gain valuable skills to prepare them for future employment while they engage in public service beautifying Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.”

 

This program will provide a temporary employment opportunity to participants who will assist with cleaning and beautification projects in key areas throughout Philadelphia. The program is designed to be a career readiness pipeline, providing the participants with enough resources and education to transition into full time employment, attend a 2 or 4 year higher education institution, enter into a vocational training program/school or be prepared to take the military aptitude test.

 

The participants were not previously enrolled in higher education and were unemployed. For three days a week over the course of six months, participants will work in teams on neighborhood beautification projects with direction from the Streets Department. The remaining two days are spent in the classroom, where participants will learn job readiness skills.

 

“Philly Future Track is designed to create stronger citizens who live, work and serve in their communities,” said Streets Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson. “By instilling self-sustainability and civic pride in Philadelphia’s young adults, they will be better prepared to take the next steps towards developing long-term careers, and in turn, improve the City as a whole.”

 

Philly Future Track is made possible by the partnerships of several city and community organizations. The City of Philadelphia, Department of Streets, Mayor’s Office of Community Services (MOCS), Philadelphia Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild (POWER), Community Women’s Education Project (CWEP) and Community Marketing Concepts are all investing in the futures of both Philadelphia’s young adult population and the City of Philadelphia as a whole.

 

The Philly Future Track program is still seeking participants. If interested, please visit http://www.philadelphiastreets.com/future-track.aspx for more information and to learn how to apply.

 

For more information on the Department of Streets, please visithttp://www.philadelphiastreets.com/.   For more information on MOCS, please visit http://www.phila.gov/mocs/.  For more information on POWER, please visit http://www.powerphiladelphia.org/.  For more information on CWEP, please visit www.cwep.org/. For more information on Community Marketing Concepts, please visitwww.communitymarketingconcepts.com.

Report on Residential Building Energy Efficiency released by Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia

The Mayors Office of Sustainability and the Sustainable Business Network are pleased to announce the release of Building Energy Efficiency in Philadelphia: Current Landscape and Recommendations for Increasing Energy Efficiency in Philadelphia’s Housing Stock.

Groundbreaking for Two LEED Buildings at Navy Yard

MAYOR NUTTER, SENATOR SPECTER, CONGRESSMAN BRADY, LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST HOST GROUNDBREAKING AT NAVY YARD

This Navy Yard project marks Liberty Property Trust’s first major investment since May 2009.

Philadelphia, January 3, 2010– Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Senator Arlen Specter, Congressman Robert Brady and Liberty Property Trust hosted a groundbreaking for the first two of three planned flexible-use buildings that will be developed in the Navy Yard Commerce Center. The project will be funded by $12.89 million in allocated Recovery Zone Facility Bonds (RZ-FBs) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Liberty Property Trust received a total of $16 million in RZ-FBs and will use the remainder for infrastructure improvements at The Navy Yard Corporate Center.

RZ-FBs are a new, tax-exempt private activity bond created specifically by ARRA to be distributed by municipalities for business development activities. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania increased its RZ-FB commitment to the City from $12.89 million to $16 million based on the City’s ability to efficiently utilize the stimulus funding before the end of 2010.

“The Navy Yard is at the center of the growing clean tech economy in the United States, and the addition of these new buildings will have one of the largest concentrations of LEED certified buildings on a single campus anywhere in the country. Philadelphia is committed to growing our industry in a sustainable, smart and business-friendly way,” said Mayor Nutter. “This development reflects the strategic and well coordinated allocation of ARRA funding by the City with the cooperation of partners like the Commonwealth, PIDC, and private businesses. I would like to thank everyone for their efficient and decisive actions to make this development possible.”

Congressman Brady added, “This project is a perfect example of how targeted Federal funds can help grow jobs. Thanks to the partnership of the Mayor, the Governor, our Congressional delegation, PIDC and business, Philadelphia’s Navy Yard has become a leader in urban job creation.”

“Liberty’s investment in developing these new flexible, industrial buildings signals their confidence in Philadelphia and The Navy Yard as a choice location for growing companies and provides The Navy Yard with an inventory of modern industrial facilities that will appeal to a wide variety of users.  We appreciate Liberty’s investment and confidence and look forward to working with them to fill these buildings with dynamic companies of all types,” said Peter Longstreth, President of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.

The first two Navy Yard Commerce Center buildings will occupy a total 103,137 square feet of space and will be located at 4020 S. 26th Street and 4050 S. 26th Street. The third building, on which Liberty Property Trust will begin construction as the first two are completed, will expand capacity by an additional 82,863 square feet. The Fretz Corporation, a leading appliance wholesale distributor, agreed to lease nearly half of the 4050 S. 26th Street building. Each building will be LEED certified. The development project will create 100 new constructions jobs.

“The Philadelphia Navy Yard has truly become a magnet for business,” said William P. Hankowsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Property Trust. “We appreciate our partnership with the city and PIDC and look forward to continuing to develop the Navy Yard’s capacity for attracting leading companies.”

The ARRA funding authorizes the City of Philadelphia to assign an issuing authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for private activity use. The Administration has partnered with the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID) to structure and issue the RZ-FBs on behalf of Liberty Property Trust. The Federal government is awarding an available $15 billion nationwide in RZ-FBs.

RZ-FBs are issued in Federal Recovery Zones, which include:

  1. Any area designated by the issuer as having poverty, unemployment, rate of home foreclosures, or distress;
  2. Any area designated by the issuers as economically distressed by reason of the closure or realignment of a military installation pursuant to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990; and
  3. Any area for which a designation as an Empowerment Zone or Renewal Community is in effect.

About Liberty Property Trust

Headquartered in Malvern, PA, Liberty is dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through extraordinary work environments. The real estate investment trust (REIT) serves customers in the United States and United Kingdom through the development, acquisition, ownership and management of superior office and industrial properties.  Liberty’s 80 million square foot portfolio offers exceptional locations and flexible design to more than 2,100 tenants at approximately 750 office, distribution and light manufacturing facilities. For more information, visit www.libertyproperty.com.

 

 

MAYOR NUTTER ANNOUNCES PHILLY BUYING POWER PROGRAM FOR PHILADELPHIA BUSINESSES

Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Councilman Darrell Clarke, Councilman Wilson Goode, and City officials to announce the creation of Philly Buying Power, a city-endorsed energy purchasing program that will pool the energy demands of interested small businesses to get them competitive prices on their electricity bills. Sazon Restaurant & Cafe, a small business participating in the program, hosted the announcement. Philly Buying Power provides opportunities for commercial consumers to benefit from deregulation, weather potential volatility in the energy generating sector, and increase the affordability and percentage of sustainably produced power in their supply.

“Because this is uncharted territory for businesses, the City wanted to help them navigate the new marketplace,” explained Mayor Nutter. “Philly Buying Power allows businesses and non-profits to buy electricity with confidence and put their money into growing their organizations instead of paying energy bills.”

When PECO rate caps expire at the end of the year, Philadelphia businesses will be able to purchase electricity generation from a supplier of their choice. In other cities with expiring rate caps, generation suppliers have competed to serve larger businesses, institutions, and residents. However, suppliers often have made fewer competitive offers to small and medium businesses.

In October, the City selected Taylor Consulting and Contracting, a Pennsylvania-based energy management firm, to operate Philly Buying Power through a Request for Information process. The RFI sought a consultant to form a buyer’s group of Philadelphia businesses and administer an on-line auction for electric utility providers to compete for the aggregated electrical demand of the buyer’s group. A selection committee including Councilman Clarke, Councilman Goode, Councilman Jones, Councilman Kenney, and representatives from the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic American Chamber, the Law Department, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, the Department of Commerce, and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability chose Taylor as the most qualified respondent to run the program.

The City endorses Philly Buying Power to let Philadelphia businesses know that Taylor has experience building and operating successful energy aggregations, including one in the City of Boston. Taylor recently opened an office in Philadelphia to recruit, enroll, and service businesses in Philly Buying Power. They anticipate increasing their local workforce as the Philly Buying Power program grows and holding their first auctions for 2011 energy generation in late November or early December 2010.

“As customers make their electricity decisions for 2011, we hope all businesses will consider joining Philly Buying Power,” said Christopher Booth, Vice President of Taylor. “In addition to the procurement of energy, Philly Buying Power will provide enrollees with a state-of-the-art utility management system and access to energy services which will help businesses reduce and manage their electricity consumption.”

Taylor will group Philly Buying Power members with other businesses that share similar energy use profiles, and suppliers will bid for the opportunity to generate electricity for each grouping. The supplier that bids the lowest price wins a contract to generate power for the group. Over time, the buyer’s group and their total purchasing power will continue to grow, increasing the ability of the group to command lower prices from energy providers.

Sazon Restaurant & Cafe, a restaurant serving home-style Venezuelan cuisine at 941 Spring Garden Street, enrolled in Philly Buying Power to reduce their 2011 electricity expenses. Judith Suzarra-Campbell, chef and co-owner, explained, “We’ve gotten calls, mail, and visitors, all claiming that they can reduce our electricity costs. With so much information out there, we weren’t sure who to trust or how to approach buying our electricity. Philly Buying Power lets the experts get us the best deal at no risk or cost to our business.”

“The City is pleased to offer this innovative tool to help Philadelphia businesses make smart choices about energy, saving money and advancing the Greenworks Philadelphia goal of reducing citywide energy usage 10 percent by 2015,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. “This is another great project proving that an environmentally friendly Philadelphia is also a business friendly Philadelphia.”

“Philly Buying Power creates exactly the kind of competition deregulation was intended to promote,” said James Cawley, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Utility Commission. “From a policy standpoint, everyone wins – suppliers are able to secure customers and the customers get great rates from their collective buying power. The PUC applauds the City of Philadelphia and Taylor for implementing this creative program.”
Businesses in Philadelphia and surrounding communities can enroll by visiting http://www.phillybuyingpower.com or http://www.phila.gov or calling the local Taylor office at 215.558.5185.

 

MAYOR NUTTER AND GOVERNOR RENDELL WELCOME HOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY FIRM TO PHILADELPHIA NAVY YARD

The Mark Group will establish U.S. headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard

Philadelphia, Oct. 22, 2010 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Governor Edward G. Rendell announced that the Mark Group, a home energy efficiency firm based in the United Kingdom, will establish its U.S. Headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The Mark Group will join a growing number of clean energy technology and energy-related businesses located at the Navy Yard. The Mark Group will bring 250 new jobs to the Navy Yard. The attraction of the Mark Group to Philadelphia was made possible through a partnership involving the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and Select Greater Philadelphia.

“The Navy Yard is becoming a nationally recognized hub for clean technology companies. The Mark Group is one of many innovative energy efficiency and alternative energy businesses establishing their presence in Philadelphia. These companies are bringing new jobs, new expertise and new ideas to our city,” said Mayor Nutter. “Thanks to the work of the Philadelphia Commerce Department and our many city and regional partners, Philadelphia is now seeing the fruits of many months of labor as new businesses locate in our city providing new job opportunities for Philadelphians.”

Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy in August awarded a $130 million grant to a consortium of university, public and private sector partners to develop new energy efficiency technologies at the Navy Yard’s Clean Energy Campus.

Gov. Rendell said that helping consumers reduce their energy use is one of the best things we can do to help people and employers save money while improving our environment. “After all, the cheapest and cleanest energy is that which we don’t use. We’ve made great strides in the past eight years to help energy users do that, but the work being done here at the energy innovation hub and by Mark Group will take those efforts to an entirely new level,” said Gov. Rendell. “Mark Group’s decision to locate its U.S. headquarters here and become one of the first companies tied to the Department of Energy’s energy innovation hub is an excellent partnership. Each complements the other and each offers a host of great opportunities for the other.”

The Mark Group’s establishment of their U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia was made possible through grant funding provided by PIDC and the Governor’s Action Team. According to company officials, Philadelphia’s location as an international and northeastern transportation hub and the abundance of higher education institutions were significant factors in the Mark Group’s decision to locate in this region.

“Mark Group is excited to launch our U.S. business from Philadelphia. We are grateful to Mayor Nutter and his economic development team for welcoming us to the City and for making the decision to locate here so easy. We recognize that Philadelphia’s success is our success, and therefore we are looking forward to being a Philadelphia-based business – hiring here, buying here, and growing here,” stated Jeff Bartos, U.S. CEO of the Mark Group.

“This is a great win for the City and the entire Greater Philadelphia region,” said Tom Morr, president & CEO of Select Greater Philadelphia. “Mark Group is a perfect addition to the Navy Yard’s Clean Energy Campus and its recently announced $130M GPIC Energy Innovation Hub.”

Mark Group is an international company, with more than 1,400 employees dedicated to providing a ‘whole house’ solution to energy efficiency. The firm began insulating homes back in 1974 and recognized that this is the first step in helping save energy, money and carbon emissions. Today, from its 17 locations, Mark Group helps make more than 6,000 homes more energy efficient every week. The firm’s portfolio has expanded in recent years to include an increasingly popular and proven range of energy saving products. Services are tailored for individual homeowners as well as builders, architects, local authorities and government bodies. The company’s international headquarters are located in the UK with additional offices in Australia.