PHILADELPHIA, May 13, 2010 – At a press conference today overlooking City Hall from the white roof of 1515 Market Street, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the winner of the RetroFIT Philly “Coolest BlocK” contest and signed new “Cool Roof” legislation into law. Each home on the winning block will receive an energy audit, installation of a ‘cool roof’ coating, insulation and air sealing upgrades.
The winner of the contest, a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, the Dow Chemical Company, and the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia (ECA), is the 1200 block of Wolf Street. Mayor Nutter personally called Block Coordinator, Ms. Theresa Jack, earlier this week to deliver the news. A block party will be held on the 1200 block of Wolf Street on Saturday, June 19th to celebrate the RetroFIT Philly winners, and to kick-off the cool roof installations and energy efficiency upgrades for the whole block.
“I would like to congratulate 1200 Wolf Street and thank all the neighbors who came together to participate in the ‘Coolest Block’ contest,” said Mayor Nutter. “Many of the row homes that give our city its unique character were built long before today’s energy-conscious environment. This contest and today’s legislation will help Philadelphia become a city of the future and set an example for others throughout the country.”
Seventy-four blocks from across the city, with a total of more than 1,600 homes, submitted entries for the contest, which were reviewed by a panel of judges including representatives from local media, environmental organizations, and the building industry. The contest encouraged residents from Philadelphia’s many row home neighborhoods to compete to win an energy efficiency upgrade for their entire block, including an energy-saving “cool roof,” air sealing and insulation. The Dow Chemical Company contributed products and technologies, and The Dow Chemical Company Foundation provided financial support for the contest.
“We feel this effort can be a blueprint for bringing communities together in the interest of saving energy and improving quality of life,” says Liz Robinson, Executive Director, ECA. “This contest is just one of many ways we hope to educate all Philadelphia residents about how to reduce their heating and cooling bills, make their homes more comfortable and preserve the historic blocks that make our city unique.”
“Our company is committed to using science to increase the energy efficiency of homes and other structures”, said Jerome Peribere, President and CEO of Philadelphia-based Dow Advanced Materials.
“Helping to bring communities together to make a positive change for their city and environment is one of the ways we can fulfill that commitment.”
At the press conference Mayor Nutter also signed a new law, sponsored by Councilman Jim Kenney and passed unanimously by City Council, which requires all new commercial and residential construction to include reflective roofs, a feature that will reduce cooling costs and energy usage in the city. Unlike traditional black roofs, reflective cool roofs reflect the sun’s rays back into the atmosphere and release absorbed heat. This keeps buildings cooler and lessens the demand for air conditioning by 10 to 30 percent. On new construction, reflective roofs are comparable in price to traditional roofing materials but average energy savings of 20 percent.
“This legislation is a simple step to reduce energy consumption and is virtually cost-neutral for new construction,” Kenney said. “Reflective roofs offer both environmental and financial advantages over traditional roofs and by requiring them, I hope to spur a new wave of more energy efficient building practices amongst our city’s construction projects.”
“Councilman Kenney has once again demonstrated tremendous leadership on the issue of sustainability which is crucial to the future of our city,” said Mayor Nutter. “I want to thank him and his colleagues in City Council for serving as full partners in our efforts to save money, cut down our energy usage, and become the number one green city in the United States.”
The Cool Roof law and the Coolest Block Contest both support initiatives described in Greenworks Philadelphia, the city’s comprehensive sustainability plan. Developed by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to make Philadelphia the “Greenest City in America,” Greenworks includes goals to reduce citywide energy consumption by 10% and to retrofit 15% of the city’s housing stock by 2015. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability worked closely with Councilman Kenney’s office in developing the Cool Roof legislation and to create the Retrofit Philly Contest.
About Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia
The Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) is a non-profit corporation, founded in 1984, whose mission is to help people conserve energy and to promote a sustainable and socially equitable energy future for all in the Philadelphia region. Our services to low income people are at the heart of our mission and are provided in collaboration with our citywide network of 14 Neighborhood Energy Centers. In the past year, ECA provided over 40,000 low income families 86,218 energy services, valued at more than $27 million, leveraging our budget of $8.4 million more than 3 times on their behalf. These services include: budget and energy counseling; bill payment assistance; energy conservation treatments, and energy education. Our conservation services saved these families an average of 20% of their energy costs, enabling them to meet their expenses and stay in their homes.
About Greenworks Philadelphia
Mayor Michael Nutter created the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) to help the city leverage its existing assets and mitigate its exposure to the effects of global warming. This means changing the way that government does business. It also means giving citizens the tools they need to lower their own carbon emissions and reduce their vulnerability to increasing energy costs. Sustainability is a core mission for the Nutter Administration and the work of MOS, primarily through the implementation of Greenworks Philadelphia, will help decrease the city’s vulnerability to energy prices and climate change, increase our capacity to compete in global markets for new jobs and new businesses, and ensure that all residents share in the city’s prosperous future.
About The Dow Chemical Company
Dow combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2009, Dow had annual sales of $45 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 214 sites in 37 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at http://www.dow.com.
About Dow Building & Construction
A business group within Dow’s Advanced Material Division, Building & Construction is comprised of two business units – Dow Building Solutions and Dow Construction Chemicals – each of which offer strengths in channel management, branding, technology development / support and demand creation. The two business units collectively employ about 1,700 people worldwide, and generate almost $2 billion of revenue while operating more than 30 plants worldwide. Through its strong sales support, customer service and building science expertise, Dow’s Building & Construction business units provide meaningful solutions for customers today, while also addressing the industry’s emerging needs and demands with advanced industry knowledge.
More information about RetroFIT PHILLY is available at http://www.retrofitphilly.com. For further information, please contact Lindsay Lathrop, Marketing Communications Manager, The Dow Chemical Company, at (215) 592.2184, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Marissa Peterson of Gibbs & Soell Public Relations, at (212) 697-2600, email@example.com