On Wednesday, May 11, at 2pm, Senator Sharif Street will hold a press conference at ECA’s headquarters at 106 West Clearfield Street to launch the Philadelphia Water Heater Emergency Fund. The Senator championed support for the Fund, which he is establishing at ECA, with a grant of $150,000 from the PA Department of Human Services.
ECA’s Heater Hotline team receives numerous calls each week from low-income families who have no hot water. These include many senior citizens who are long-term homeowners whose homes are their greatest financial asset. These families are heating water on their ranges for bathing and household cleaning and carrying it upstairs.
Senator Street stated: “This program will increase the safety and affordability of the homes of low-income families and help preserve the transfer of generational wealth as gentrification continues to change the landscape and diversity of Philadelphia. In addition, we will be installing heat pump water heaters which will help our city meet its goals for electrification.”
Water heater replacement is not covered under current low-income programs. These appliances do not last as long as heaters and fail at a much higher rate. The market-rate cost of installing a heat pump water heater is approximately $2,300 which is cost-prohibitive for low-income households.
With funds from The W. W. Smith Charitable Trust, ECA conducted a pilot water heater replacement program over the past two years. This new initiative will build on that experience.
ECA’s Heater Hotline team will triage the applications and deploy these funds to replace water heaters for seniors and other vulnerable adults up to 300% FPL. We anticipate serving up to 65 families and are soliciting bids for this work with a strong preference for minority contractors.
ECA’s mission is to help people conserve energy and promote a sustainable and socially equitable energy future for all. Each year, for low-income families, ECA weatherizes 500 homes; repairs/replaces 5,000 heaters; provides energy counseling and bill payment assistance to 6,000 families; and delivers do-it-yourself, home weatherization workshops to 2,000 people. Each year, ECA trains 500 men and women, whose diversity reflects the city we serve, for clean energy jobs with a bright future.
For more information, contact:
Chris Petersen, Director of Business Development