Philadelphia Pioneers Energy Efficiency Innovation

In last month's State of the Union address, President Obama described his desire to increasing the efficiency of homes and businesses throughout the country. Philadelphia is already ahead of the game, reports Laurie Actman.

Actman traces Philadelphia's cutting edge policies and projects dedicated to increasing the city's energy efficiency to the election of Mayor Michael A. Nutter in 2008. "During his campaign, Nutter pledged to make Philadelphia the 'Greenest City in America,' and he followed through with his commitment by creating the city’s first Office of Sustainability and releasing Greenworks Philadelphia, the city’s first sustainability plan, during his first year in office."

Following that plan, the city has developed a dedicated partnership of business leaders, neighborhood organizations and city residents who have helped secure and implement significant investments in increasing energy efficiency. The latest outcome of that work is the region’s "most ambitious energy efficiency opportunity to date" — the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub.

"A public-private partnership led by Penn State University, the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster — now EEB Hub — came together to successfully compete for the nation’s first Energy Regional innovation Cluster, a $125 million federal grant opportunity with the dual purpose of accelerating the adoption of energy-efficient building technology and fostering economic development opportunities and job growth through the creation of a new sector and industry in greater Philadelphia," explains Actman.

Since its creation, EEB Hub has led the effort to develop "scalable market solutions for the retrofit of average size commercial and multifamily buildings in Greater Philadelphia," and has helped the city to define and implement its benchmarking initiatives.

"Mayor Nutter's commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency combined with EEB Hub’s partnership with the Office of Sustainability creates a unique opportunity to position Philadelphia as a global leader in the adoption of building technologies and retrofit strategies that create a more efficient, resilient and competitive building stock."

Full Story: How Philadelphia is leading in energy innovation

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