On March 9, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality (DEP) announced that its Green Energy Loan Fund reached $30 million invested in loans for energy efficiency improvements in commercial buildings. The Green Energy Loan Fund, which was funded by the Energy Programs Office (the State Energy Office) in DEP with $12 million in ARRA funds and managed by a third-party administrator, helps commercial building owners make energy efficiency retrofits to exceed Pennsylvania’s current statewide building code.
The Green Energy Loan Fund is designed to specifically prioritize local community development efforts with a critical focus on projects in Environmental Justice areas. As a result of these goals, the fund has invested nearly 30 percent of its funds into projects in buildings owned by low-income customers or by persons of color, and over half of its funds into projects located in low-income census tracts. The fund has also supported a range of upgrades to these facilities, including HVAC geoexchange systems, white roofing, LED lighting and controls, and super insulation. New equipment must reduce a building’s energy use at least 25 percent, and whole-building projects must reduce energy use more than 10 percent over current building energy code.
With 15 projects completed so far, the fund has supported improvements to 2.3 million square feet of building space leading to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 110,000 tons over the life of these projects, equal to taking 22,000 cars off the road for a year.
The Green Energy Loan Fund is a successful example of how State Energy Offices can leverage public capital to develop sustainable investment capability in high-impact energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across their states. For more information on the fund, Contact Deb Klenotic at DEP.