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Energy Efficiency can lower electricity bills that Pennsylvania citizens pay, as well as reduce carbon emissions.

Many folks in PA, however, have limited  ability to make energy efficiency improvement on their own. The good news is, there are programs available to help. Learn more about ways to improve access to energy efficiency methods  to lower costs and at the same time help the environment.

Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA)

The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania is part of a statewide effort with PA Utility Law Project (PULP), Keystone Energy Efficiency for All (KEEA), ACTION Housing, the National Housing Trust, and the Natural Resources Defense Council to  link the energy and housing sectors together in order to tap the benefits of energy efficiency for millions of low-income families. Current work includes educating our network about the Act 129 energy efficiency programs for multi-family buildings from electric companies across the state, including rebates and free services.  

Act 129 Electric Use Reduction Programs

The General Assembly enacted Act 129 to require Pennsylvania’s seven largest electric distribution companies (EDCs) to develop energy efficiency and conservation plans (EE&C) and adopt other methods (smart meters, procurement and alternative energy sources) of reducing the amount of electricity consumed by customers. The General Assembly charged the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) with implementing Act 129 and guiding consumers and electric utilities toward achieving the legislation’s overall goals of reducing energy consumption and peak electric demand.

Power Companies and their Multifamily Act 129 Programs:

Utility companies offer similar rebate and incentive programs to encourage their customers to make their homes and businesses more energy-efficient. Programs include low income, multi-family and general public. Programs offer education, installation of appliances and/or light bulbs, insulation, and energy audits. Many of these offerings are at a reduced rate, or are free, depending on the level of income of the residents. See below for links to the utility companies' programs, for more detail on specific offerings.

Weatherization Assistance Program

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides grants to states, territories, and some Native American tribes to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families (single family homes). These governments, in turn, contract with local governments and nonprofit agencies to provide weatherization services to those in need using the latest technologies for home energy upgrades.
This program is currently in operation and available in PA for residents. Applicants that qualify will receive an onsite energy audit to assess the conditions in the home and to identify the most cost effective energy saving measures. Click here to find out more about the program, and to apply.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Crisis Services

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, helps low-income families pay their heating bills. LIHEAP is a grant that offers assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company, or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat. The program will reopen November 1, 2016. There are three ways to apply- online through Compass, a paper application or in person. To find out more click here. 

Clean Power Plan:

On August 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Carbon Pollution Emissions Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, also known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Clean Power Plan sets carbon dioxide emission standards for power plants and establishes customized goals for states to reduce carbon dioxide. Part of these goals can include increases in utilization of  energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. These goals can be met by switching to clean power sources, but also by reducing demand through energy efficiency and conservation. Pennsylvania is working on its Clean Power Plan. It was scheduled to be released for public comment in early spring 2016 but the US Supreme Court has stayed the CPP’s implementation nationally.  

Clean Energy Incentive Plan (CEIP)

The final Clean Power Plan included the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) -- a program designed to help states and tribes meet their goals under the plan by removing barriers to investment in energy efficiency and solar measures in low-income communities and encouraging early investments in zero-emitting renewable energy generation. States may choose to implement this incentive program for early action. EPA recently accepted comments on the CEIP. The Housing Alliance joined with other members of Energy Efficiency for All to submit comments. Click here to read the submitted comments. 

 

News

    • 2008-2017 State Budget Chart updated April 6, 2017

      Revised 4/6/17 Figures are rounded. 1 Tax Credit; part of the Tax code not the Budget. 2 Also included in HSDF Block Grant. 3 2012-2013 through 2016-2017 funded from the Homeowner Assistance Settlement Fund, not General Fund. 4 Funded from Act 13 Impact Fees. Minimum of $5 M but by formula the amount has been …more

    • Governor Wolf Announces New PHARE Funding to Support Affordable Housing across Pennsylvania

      Press Release from Governor Tom Wolf’s Office Published: April 13, 2017 Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced recipients of a new round of funding for housing programs made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund. This funding is a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax earmarked through Act 58 …more

    • Governor Wolf announces recipients of PHARE funding

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS CONTACT Victoria Bourret, Communications and Project Manager Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania 215-576-7044 victoria@housingalliancepa.org Date: April 13, 2017 Harrisburg, PA- Today $12 million was awarded to 68 programs and projects across 38 counties in Pennsylvania to expand the availability of homes within reach of low wage workers and people on fixed incomes. …more

    • In Ohio County That Backed Trump, Word of Housing Cuts Stirs Fear

      By: Yamiche Alcindor Published: April 2, 2017 KINSMAN, Ohio — For years, Tammy and Joseph Pavlic tried to ignore the cracked ceiling in their living room, the growing hole next to their shower and the deteriorating roof they feared might one day give out. Mr. Pavlic worked for decades installing and repairing air-conditioning and heating …more

    • State and National News on the President’s Proposed FY18 Budget

      3/17/2017; updated April 3, 2017 Since the President’s budget came out yesterday, there have been many news articles published about what it means for Non Defense Discretionary programs and the people they serve. There has also been analyses published by National Groups digging deeper into long term impacts of such a budget. All related articles …more

    • Congress Decides What Happens with the Budget

      Posted March 16, 2017  YOUR ACTION IS CRITICAL In the past few weeks and months, we have seen more of you engage in conversations and meetings with your federal Members of Congress than ever before. It is extremely important that we continue to engage with our Senators and Representatives to advocate for resources for housing and …more

    • Webinar Recording: Resources Available for Multi-Family Housing Energy Efficiency with Duquesne Light

      Webinar held February 28, 2017. Act 129, which became effective in November 2008, requires electric utility companies to cost-effectively reduce electricity consumption and peak demand on their systems. One way to do this is through energy efficiency measures. Electric utility companies have developed programs for residential and commercial customers to reduce energy output in their …more

    • Federal cuts would target civil legal aid for poor

      By: Kate Giammarise Published: February 27, 2017 Funds for low-income people seeking legal help in civil cases — such as those involving domestic violence protection from abuse orders, child custody issues, evictions, mortgage foreclosures, utility shut-offs, and access to public benefits — could potentially become scarcer. According to several reports, President Donald Trump’s budget proposal could …more

    • You Don’t Have to Live Here: Why Housing Messages Are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It

      By Tiffany Manuel , Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. and Nat Kendall-Taylor, FrameWorks Institute Published: 2016 Description There is a general difficulty among the public to see housing as an issue that requires greater attention from policymakers, and people struggle to see the connection between housing, equity, and inclusive communities. To the extent that public support is necessary to …more

    • Webinar Recording: Resources Available for Multi-Family Housing Energy Efficiency with FirstEnergy Utilities

      Webinar held December 15, 2016 Act 129, which became effective in November 2008, requires electric utility companies to cost-effectively reduce electricity consumption and peak demand on their systems. One way to do this is through energy efficiency measures. Electric utility companies have developed programs for residential and commercial customers to increase energy efficiency in their properties. The …more

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