PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia-based Energy Coordinating Agency’s Annual Sustainable Energy Conference showcased their future plans at their “Energize Philly” event, drawing a big turnout at the Chinatown Development Corporation’s Crane Center.
From solar energy to home heating efficiency tips, opportunities for clean energy workforce development, innovation, and healthy homes, the conference promoted much-needed programs.
"How to energize Philadelphia by giving ways to save on energy costs, how to manage energy costs,” said Nyisha Chapman, manager of community partnerships at Philadelphia Gas Works. “Also talking about information on weatherization and how people can just learn how they can manage housing costs."
Laura Copeland with the Philadelphia Water Department said they showed ways residents can save on their bills through customer assistance programs, which include a component for those facing hardships.
"For folks that have higher incomes, but maybe facing a hardship like high medical bills or a loss of a job. Then we still have long standard payment agreements for those customers,” said Copland.
State Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, said the organizations that do the hard work have the information needed to help people with their day-to-day living costs.
"Make their lives easier and reduce our carbon footprint, help stop global warming and help save the world,” said Street. “This is the way we do it, one household, one community, one organizer at a time."
Each year ECA assists low-income families, weatherizes 800 homes, repairs or replaces 5,000 heaters, and provides energy counseling and bill payment assistance to 6,000 families.
Energy Coordinating Agency CEO Steve Luxton said the goal is to keep everyone apprised of all the utility and energy-related updates, and also to discuss the new technology that they are strongly pushing.
"Of course, electrification is becoming a big topic where we're trying to get rid of fossil fuel in homes and install electric appliances,” said Luxton. “It's going to take many years to do that, but we're beginning that drive towards a cleaner environment."
ECA also released its 2022 Energy Directory, which is packed with information about utility bill payment assistance for government agencies, social service providers, and energy advocates.