Program debuts to cut biz, home-energy bills

Posted: November 10, 2010

It sounds like a sci-fi movie.

You're walking down a hallway in an office building after hours and the lights go on as you approach and turn off on their own after you pass by.

But it's not a technostalker on your heels - it's merely simple infrared sensors.

They are among the many energy savings proposed in the EnergyWorks program being unveiled today by Mayor Nutter and members of the Metropolitan Caucus, made up of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties.

The program is funded by a $25 million grant from the federal Department of Energy's Better Buildings Program.

Half the money will go to help building owners conserve energy, and half to homeowners to reduce their energy bills, said Alan Greenberger, Philadelphia deputy mayor for economic development.

Besides drawing down energy consumption, EnergyWorks will create jobs in an "energy-efficiency industry" made up of contractors, materials suppliers and developers of new technology, he said.

The initiative will provide low-interest loans to finance energy-efficient building improvements, and will connect residents with a professional analyst to determine what energy upgrades are needed.

The cost for the analyst is about $400, but if you spend $1,000 or more, EnergyWorks will give you a $300 rebate and refer you to reputable contractors, Greenberg said.

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