City of Philadelphia on Track to Meet Municipal Energy Goals

Posted May 4, 2023

Guest blog contributed by the City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability Municipal Energy Office's Building Compliance Coordinator, Dora Chi 


In 2017, the City of Philadelphia announced ambitious climate and energy goals to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cut energy use and costs, and expand renewable energy by 2030. Now in 2023, we are excited to share an update on the progress we’ve made through programs and initiatives that have propelled the City to a 44% reduction in GHG emissions (2006 baseline) and that will continue paving our way to carbon neutrality. In conjunction with the progress update, Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order recognizing the updated municipal LEED ordinance that City Council passed in late 2021, raising the LEED standard for the City’s major renovation and new construction projects from LEED Silver to Gold.

In Philadelphia, where more than 70% of citywide GHG emissions come from the built environment, setting and achieving high-performance building standards like LEED Gold is an essential step to decarbonizing. This past year, the Municipal Energy Office partnered with Green Building United to provide LEED Green Associate and LEED Accredited Professional BD+C education to staff across various departments. Eight municipal buildings have achieved a LEED certification to date, and with a stronger municipal LEED standard in place and staff who are better equipped to meet it, that number will continue to grow.

Read on for more highlights from the Municipal Energy Master Plan 2022 Progress Update:

  • Modernizing streetlights across Philadelphia: In partnership with the Department of Streets and the Philadelphia Energy Authority, the Philly Streetlight Improvement Project (PSIP) has moved into the design phase after completing an audit of more than 130,000 streetlights in 2022. PSIP aims to improve nighttime visibility and lighting operations by converting 120,000 streetlights across the City into a network of energy efficient LED lights on a lighting management system. The cost neutral project has also completed trial installations and public surveys gathering input from stakeholders.
  • Partnering to bring solar to the City: The City broke ground on the Adams Solar project, which will provide 22 percent of electricity needed to power all municipal buildings upon completion. The construction of this new 70WM solar array was created through a power purchase agreement with the Philadelphia Energy Authority and Energix Renewables.
  • Tuning up large buildings: Since the citywide Building Energy Performance Program (BEPP) launched in 2020, the City has worked with tune-up specialists to make low-to-no cost tweaks that save energy, lower utility costs, and achieve BEPP compliance in large municipal buildings. Follow our journey towards compliance using the new BEPP dashboard.
  • Strengthening our commitment to decarbonization: In 2022, the City joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Climate Challenge, committing to reduce portfolio-wide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% within the next ten years (2017 baseline) and to work with the DOE to share successful decarbonization strategies.


To learn more about the City’s energy goals and the roadmap to achieving a clean energy future beginning with City leadership, visit the Municipal Energy Master Plan. Keep up to date with our progress with the Municipal Energy Use Dashboard.

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