Energy Efficiency

PEC believes improving the efficiency of our homes and buildings reduces harmful pollution from energy, while putting money back into our communities.


Historically, PEC has worked on several projects in Western Pennsylvania related to community-level energy efficiency, including the Meadville Community Energy Project, a small-business energy audit program in the Mon River Towns, and serving on the boards of two Sustainable Energy Funds. PEC continues to be a part of this work in the Pittsburgh region through its involvement in ReEnergize Pittsburgh, including serving on the Steering Committee and Policy Committee.

Residential energy efficiency programs have been around for decades, but struggle to expand beyond low-income weatherization programs and low-hanging fruit improvements, such as changing lightbulbs. PEC seeks to work with its partners through the ReEnergize Coalition to identify the barriers that keep residential energy efficiency from growing to scale and identifying solutions to these barriers. In April 2015, we partnered with GTECH Strategies and Conservation Consultants, Inc. to bring together more than 50 representatives of the City and County government, local municipalities, the real estate industry, lending institutions, community organizations, nonprofits, and energy auditors to solicit feedback on these issues. A white paper summarizing these findings is available here.

Priorities for PEC include building stronger connections to the real estate industry, to identify ways to assign value to energy improvements during the real estate transaction. This may include the use of home energy scores and integrating information about energy usage into the multi-list service (MLS) listings.

As chair of the ReEnergize policy committee, PEC leads efforts to identify, track, and respond to state-level legislation and programs relevant to home energy use, such as updates to the state building code, changes to the Act 129 energy efficiency program, and creation of financing tools.

 

December 3, 2015

PEC Celebrates Green Workplace Achievements

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, PEC attended the 2014-15 Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge awards celebration. We are thrilled to announce that as a first time competitor, we took third place in the micro non-profit category.

Green Workplace Challenge trophy photo

Lindsay Baxter coordinated PEC’s Green Workplace Challenge efforts.

We offer our congratulations to the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), who claimed first place honors, along with the Pennsylvania Resources Council, which placed second. This competition reminds us that every organization can achieve successes in sustainability, regardless of the size of its staff and budget. Since we rent our work space, some actions are out of our direct control, but there were plenty of areas where we could make a difference.

Regardless of our final point value, the most important and rewarding aspect of the competition is seeing the number of organizations, and the thousands of individuals they employ, come together in a unified effort to reduce our collective environmental footprint and slash greenhouse gas emissions.

We’re looking forward to next year’s competition and pushing ourselves even further. Congratulations to all of this year’s competitors and to competition organizer Sustainable Pittsburgh for another successful program year.

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