Nutter announces loan program to boost home weatherization

Mayor Nutter, who announced the $25 million program, said: "We expect EnergyWorks to be a catalyst."
Mayor Nutter, who announced the $25 million program, said: "We expect EnergyWorks to be a catalyst."
Posted: November 11, 2010

With a $25 million infusion of federal stimulus money, Mayor Nutter on Wednesday debuted a regional weatherization program that will provide below-market-rate loans for homeowners and small businesses.

The program, called EnergyWorks, will provide $300 rebates for home-energy assessments, as well as energy-improvement loans of up to $15,000 with interest rates as low as 0.99 percent. Commercial loans will be available with interest rates as low as 3.5 percent.

The program is aimed at residents of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania suburbs. Officials designed it as a regional initiative, organized in cooperation with surrounding counties, to secure the federal grant.

"We expect EnergyWorks to be a catalyst," Nutter said at the program's launch in the lobby of the Comcast Center.

As if weatherization were not an interesting enough subject to attract a crowd, program organizers invited two green evangelists from the Phillies - relief pitcher Ryan Madson and the team's shamrock sidekick, the Phanatic.

Madson and his wife, Sarah, have commissioned Caledonia Renovations L.L.C. on the Main Line to expand and update a 1950s house in Wayne using energy-efficient technology. Madson said the house would feature a geothermal heating and cooling system, upgraded insulation, and energy-saving lighting.

The first EnergyWorks loan will help pay for a high-efficiency heating and air-conditioning system in a new Homewood Suites hotel set for groundbreaking next month in University City. David Adelman, chief executive of the developer, Campus Apartments Inc., said the $1.5 million loan would help reduce energy costs for the project 25 percent.

EnergyWorks is the "first major accomplishment" of the Metropolitan Caucus, a regional coalition formed in March 2009, said Delaware County Councilman Mario J. Civera Jr.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the $25 million "Recovery Through Retrofit" stimulus grant in April. The funds will be leveraged by using them to reduce the interest rates on loans underwritten by the state's Keystone Home Energy Loan Program, said Andy Rachlin, EnergyWorks director.

Some of the funds have gone to construct the program's website, www.energyworksnow.com, and to assemble teams of public-relations professionals to promote the effort.

Rachlin said an effort was made to minimize creation of a new bureaucracy - his job as program director is part of his portfolio of duties as deputy chief of staff in the deputy mayor's Office for Economic Development.


For more information on EnergyWorks, call 215-609-1052 or go to


Contact staff writer Andrew Maykuth at 215-854-2947 or amaykuth@phillynews.com.

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