U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm visits Pennsylvania
- On Friday, October 20, 2023, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to host a community townhall and announce new federal initiatives to support economic revitalization and workforce development in energy communities.
Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Economy
- In 2022, there were already 273,364 Pennsylvania workers employed in the energy sector.
- Across the state, 45% of the electric power generation workforce was in wind, solar, and hydroelectric, and almost 70,000 workers were employed in energy efficiency.
- The Inflation Reduction Act is expanding these opportunities, bringing an estimated $270 million of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Pennsylvania between now and 2030.
- Pennsylvania is home to 1.1 million small businesses, representing 99.6% of all businesses and employing 46.2% of all workers in the state, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money. Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills. Other programs that will benefit small businesses include tax credits covering 30% of the costs of installing low-cost solar power and of purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets.
Clean Energy Investment
- Currently, Pennsylvania has over 4.1 GW of solar, wind, hydro, and storage capacity, in addition to 9.5 GW of nuclear capacity. There is almost 1.1 GW of additional planned clean energy capacity in the works, which will power the equivalent of 124,500 additional homes.
- The Inflation Reduction Act tax credits that encourage investment in wind and solar will help reduce energy costs, as the costs of solar and wind power are projected to drop by 24% and 34%, respectively, over the next 30 years in Pennsylvania.
- Since the start of the Biden Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has tracked more than $150 billion in new battery supply chain investment announcements, including $525 million in Pennsylvania.
- In the same period, DOE has tracked more than $5 billion in new solar manufacturing investment announcements, including almost $100 million in Pennsylvania.
- Pennsylvania already had 66,000 EVs currently registered in the state at the end of 2022, a 48% increase over 2021. Drivers switching to an electric pickup truck could save over $1700 per year in fueling and maintenance costs compared to a gasoline-powered truck. Drivers of smaller cars could save over $1200 per year. The Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier and cheaper to purchase an electric vehicle, with upfront discounts up to $7,500 for new EVs and up to $4,000 for used EVs, helping many Americans skip the gas pump and save on fuel costs.
- Pennsylvania has over 3,730 alternative fueling ports already. The state will also receive over $36 million in federal funding to help build out more EV charging stations.
Investing In Pennsylvania
- Thanks to funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy has made available more than $491 million in the past year to Pennsylvania’s state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency and grid resilience. This includes funding to help low-income households access more efficiency appliances, and over $16 million to help strengthen grid resilience.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection received $3 million from DOE to develop energy code technical trainings and building science training programs at career and technical high schools and community colleges.
- Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, was selected to serve as the Mid-Atlantic Center of Excellence under DOE’s Industrial Assessment Centers program, which supports technical assistance to small and medium-sized manufacturers.
- William Penn School District received $7 million in DOE’s Renew America’s Schools program to install energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades that will help create a safe and healthy learning environment for students.
Saving Pennsylvanians Money on Home Energy Bills
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have invested more than $144 million in Pennsylvania since 2015, leading to 1,164 jobs and over 10,600 homes with reduced energy costs and improved health and safety.
- Upgrading appliances and improving home energy efficiency could save a total of 6,560 GWh of energy in Pennsylvania, enough to power 250,000 Pennsylvania homes.
- Pennsylvania will receive almost $260 million to implement a Home Energy Rebate program in the state. Low-income households in Pennsylvania could save an average of 53% on home energy bills when they upgrade their appliances and improve energy efficiency.
- The Inflation Reduction Act also includes grants to help state and local governments adopt the latest building energy codes, which would save the average new homeowner in Pennsylvania 13.5% on their utility bills. That amounts to $341 per year.
Prioritizing Pennsylvania’s Rural and Underserved Communities
- The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities identified western Pennsylvania as a priority energy community. This means that the federal government is prioritizing this area to support community revitalization.
- The Biden Administration has committed to advancing equity for all communities, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure Federal agencies deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has more than 140 programs covered by this initiative.
- The Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh is partnering with DOE’s Communities LEAP program to address historical impacts from abandoned coal mines, aging house stock, energy burdens, and other environmental issues related to climate change.
- A coalition lead by the City of Pittsburgh is also working with DOE’s Clean Energy to Communities program to create Smart Electric Energy Districts to meet both grid and community needs throughout the area.
- Centennial Parkside CDC in Philadelphia received $400,000 for winning the Buildings UP prize to support a resident-led initiative to upgrade rowhomes.
For current DOE funding opportunities, visit: www.energy.gov/infrastructure