South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

City proposal is for pilot program for buying efficient supplies/services


November 7, 2017

The City of Pittsburgh is proposing a project to let residents purchase energy-efficient and discounted supplies and services through the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2017 Mayors Challenge. 

If approved, the initial pilot program would start at $100,000 – funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies – with hopes of winning an eventual $5 million prize to create the program and allow it to function as a sharable program with other cities. 

The city submitted its proposal to Bloomberg Philanthropies last Friday. After reviewing proposals from around the country Bloomberg is set to issue $100,000 to 35 “Champion Cities” to test their ideas and build local support. Five cities will ultimately receive millions of dollars more to fully implement their proposals. 

The submission follows Mayor William Peduto’s participation in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership initiative in July, and his work for years with the Bloomberg Philanthropies on climate change issues. 

“The City of Pittsburgh has pledged to transition to 100 percent renewable energy city-wide by 2035. As a fossil fuel rich region with some of the lowest energy prices in the country, incentivizing residents to pay a higher premium for local renewable energy is a major hurdle to reaching this target,” the city’s proposal says. 

“While the city boasts some of the most high performing buildings in the world, an aging and inefficient housing stock has given Pittsburgh the distinction of sixth worst city for residential energy burden. The opportunity is to slash monthly energy bills as a first step to make renewable energy purchase more viable and equitable for all Pittsburghers. . . .

“The solution is to create a platform (think Groupon) that aggregates purchasing demand across the city and challenges the market for high quality products, thus lowering the cost to anyone looking to retrofit or weatherize. An easy to use platform will incorporate all offers from regional nonprofits and utility providers. A mobile van program coupled with DIY workshops will make this project accessible to all, transforming the city’s housing and building stock to 21st century efficiency and comfort standards.”

The 35 winners of the first round of submissions is expected to be announced by early next year. 


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