Wednesday, May 23, 2018

House Sends Local Clean Energy Funding Bill To Save Energy, Money To Governor

By a vote of 163 to 28, the House Wednesday passed and sent to the Governor Senate Bill 234 (Blake-D-Lackawanna; Reschenthaler-R-Allegheny), a clean energy financing bill to enable local government Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE, programs in Pennsylvania.
“The passage of Senate Bill 234 marks a major step forward for Pennsylvania’s energy efficiency industry,” said Julian Boggs, policy director for the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA). “With C-PACE financing coming to Pennsylvania, we’re going to see more investment in energy efficiency, more energy savings for Pennsylvania businesses, and more energy efficiency jobs.”
Energy efficiency is booming business in Pennsylvania, accounting for more than 62,000 jobs and growing at 7-10 percent each year. These jobs include a broad array of professionals such as electricians, engineers, trained technicians, financial analysts, construction workers, facility managers, software developers, and other specialists.
KEEA applauded Senators John Blake (D-Lackawanna) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny) for their leadership in introducing the bill and in building bipartisan support for C-PACE. 
KEEA further applauded House Commerce Committee Chairman Brian Ellis (R-Butler) for his leadership shepherding Senate Bill 234 through the House, Senate Community Economic and Recreational Development Committee Chairman Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) for his work to bring stakeholders together, and Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) for her work on companion legislation in the House.
Matt Elliott, executive director of KEEA, said, “Bringing C-PACE to Pennsylvania has been a true team effort. Every Senator who co-sponsored this legislation, House member who supported it, and organization who endorsed it can share the pride of knowing they’ve had a direct impact in quality, family-wage job growth in the Commonwealth. The business community in our state will see lasting savings and electric ratepayers will benefit from this forward-thinking collaboration for years to come.”
“Commercial PACE will modernize our commercial buildings, reduce electricity costs, and create jobs,” said Jacquelyn Bonomo, President and CEO of PennFuture. “We urge Governor Wolf’s swift action in signing Senate Bill 234 so that municipalities can begin implementing this program and commercial building owners can begin lowering their electricity costs.” “Commercial PACE will provide wide-ranging benefits for Pennsylvania residents and businesses,” said Joanne Kilgour, Director of Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter. “Improving energy efficiency for commercial and industrial buildings is an effective way to reduce carbon emissions and local pollution, while also saving businesses money on their energy bills. C-PACE also has the ability to expand the use of renewable energy and improve water conservation across Pennsylvania, measures which will improve the quality of our environment.” “The BlueGreen Alliance is excited by today’s advancement of C-PACE legislation because this program will create local jobs for skilled laborers in communities across our state and bolster Pennsylvania’s economy,” remarked Khari Mosley, the Pennsylvania Regional Programs Manager for the BlueGreen Alliance. “From manufacturing to installation, Pennsylvania has the workforce to implement the important money-saving upgrades to commercial properties that C-PACE will help to incentivize.”
Once C-PACE is signed into law, local governments may opt to launch their own C-PACE program or join an existing program. KEEA is working with other Pennsylvania stakeholders to develop a model C-PACE program that local governments can easily adopt and implement to drive energy efficiency investments in their communities.
A Senate Fiscal Note and summary is now available.

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