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Philadelphia is First Municipality in Pennsylvania to Adopt ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Low and Moderate Income Housing

Release Date: 12/16/2004
Contact Information: Donna Heron (215) 814-5113

Contact: Donna Heron (215) 814-5113

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today recognized the City of Philadelphia for its expanding its commitment to environmental protection through energy efficiency in affordable housing construction projects.

By expanding its partnership in EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, the city continues to ensure that residents of new low and moderate-income housing will pay $200 to $400 a year less for utility bills because energy-efficient furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, insulation, high-performance windows, and programmable thermostats will be installed. Affordable housing in Philadelphia will meet EPA’s strict guidelines for energy efficiency and earn the ENERGY STAR designation.

A home buyer or prospective tenant should look for the ENERGY STAR label to be prominently displayed on the circuit breaker box. The label indicates that the homes have been independently verified to earn the ENERGY STAR designation.

“By adopting ENERGY STAR housing performance guidelines, the City of Philadelphia has taken a very important step in making affordable housing in the city more energy efficient, comfortable and durable,” said David Arnold, deputy director, EPA’s regional Air Protection Division.

In addition to the financial savings for residents, Arnold added, the city is also helping to reduce air pollution associated with the burning of fossil fuels to operate homes.

Arnold made his remarks at a ceremony at the Point Breeze Estates, one of the city’s newest affordable housing developments located at 16th and Federal Streets in South Philadelphia. The 18 new homes are being built by Universal Companies to conform to the ENERGY STAR guidelines.

ENERGY STAR is the U.S. government’s symbol for energy efficiency. In addition to new homes, it identifies more than 40 types of energy efficient products, which offer the features, quality and personal comfort that consumers expect, plus energy bill savings and environmental protection.

Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy to power 20 million homes and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 19 million cars, while saving $8 billion in energy costs.

The City of Philadelphia is no stranger to the ENERGY STAR program and actually joined the program in 1992 when it was known as Green Lights. In 1995 the City of Philadelphia won an ENERGY STAR national award as the City Partner of the Year. And late last year, the city joined the ENERGY STAR Million Monitor Drive, which places computers into low-power sleep mode when not in use. The city’s new ENERGY STAR standards will affect all new low and moderate-income housing construction that involves city funding