Thursday, April 2, 2015

Yo, Harrisburg: Show us the money!

I guess you could say the state has been "moving with all deliberate haste" on its new Alternative Energy Investment Fund.

Yo, Harrisburg: Show us the money!

I guess you could say the state has been “moving with all deliberate haste” on its new Alternative Energy Investment Fund.

Or you could say: What’s taken so long?

Established this July by the Pennsylvania legislature, the fund (PDF) earmarks $192.5 million to help families and small businesses make their homes and workplaces more energy efficient.  We’re supposed to be able to apply for rebates of 25% to 30% on fuel savers like attic insulation and solar hot water systems.

Some day.

The Daily News House Warmers’ Workshop series reported early fund details in September. But here it is the prime of the winter heating season, and not a penny has trickled out of Harrisburg.

We checked in with Teresa Candori, press secretary for the state Department of Environmental Protection, and she was happy to report that things should be rolling soon because the bond for the money has just been approved.

The state budget office issued a press release yesterday to crow about the achievement (and rightfully so, given the tight credit markets), and acting DEP secretary John Hanger will meet with the governor soon to finalize details on the fund. Candori says it should be up and running next month.

You can register with the DEP to receive email updates, and when the big day comes you’ll be the first to know—along with 3,673 other eco-hopefuls who’ve already subscribed.

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to

Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.

Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.

Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.

Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.

Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...

Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.

Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.

Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.

In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man

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