The Greater Philadelphia region's historic buildings and homes are among the most significant in American history, but they predate modern energy-efficient designs by centuries. In fact, some buildings have been found to leak air at a rate 10 times that of typical buildings their size. But it takes a lot to make older buildings more energy efficient and comfortable. Expensive, up-front out-of-pocket costs for energy efficiency improvements have been a barrier to reducing Greater Philadelphia buildings' energy use in the past.
To overcome this challenge, many stakeholders—from local governments to financing specialists to energy efficiency experts—have joined together with one goal in mind: improve the energy efficiency of the buildings in the Greater Philadelphia area. With $25 million in seed funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, Philadelphia and the nearby counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery have created EnergyWorks, a comprehensive energy solutions program for home and commercial/industrial building owners.