Gov. Edward G. Rendell, D-Penn., presented details during a keynote speech to the Pittsburgh Technology Council of his new Energy Independence Strategy that would save consumers $10 billion over the next 10 years and promote Pennsylvania's energy independence by expanding the state's clean energy business sector.
Rendell plans to expand Pennsylvania's energy-related companies by offering access to venture capital, working capital, loans and limited grants. Part of the strategy calls for up to $500 million in grants and low-interest loans for projects involving clean energy business sites or business sites incorporating Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-standard buildings. Funds will be used to renovate existing buildings and industrial sites, as well as for acquiring, constructing and improving regional energy projects, Rendell says.
The governor's proposal also includes $200 million for rebates to homeowners who replace inefficient home cooling appliances, and the Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Initiative that will create incentives for solar manufacturers to establish operations in Pennsylvania. The solar initiative offers rebates to cover up to 50% of the cost of new solar systems for homeowners and small businesses, Rendell adds.