Home > URA Ads Green Incentive to Enhance Business Loan Program -Reduced rate energy audits and financing for energy efficient improvements offered as pilot

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URA ADDS GREEN INCENTIVE TO ENHANCE BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM
Reduced rate energy audits and financing for energy efficient improvements offered as pilot
program
 
 
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Board of Directors
today approved a pilot program to promote energy efficient improvements in small businesses in
the City of Pittsburgh. "We are continually providing new ways to make it easier for our residents and small businesses to go 'green,'" Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. "With this new, innovative program, more Pittsburgh businesses will be able to flourish and grow with reduced utility bills and our City's environmental transformation will continue."
 
The pilot program will offer reduced rate energy audits, which will generate reports providing
recommendations for energy efficient improvements, along with projected costs and savings.
Businesses that make the recommended improvements will be eligible for a low interest loan of up to $50,000 through the URA’s Pittsburgh Business Growth Fund. Initially, the pilot program will target existing URA loan portfolio small business clients.
 
Loans can be used for qualifying energy efficient improvements, including insulation, air and duct sealing, efficient heating and cooling, lighting, refrigeration, water heating equipment, and efficient windows and doors. “Energy efficient improvements can save business owners significant amounts of money on utilities and improve their bottom line right away,” said Matt Smuts, URA sustainability coordinator. “Many of these improvements have very short payback periods and just make good business sense.” The pilot program will produce a series of case studies that describe participation, and completed improvements. If successful, the program may then be open to a wider customer base. A Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued within the next few weeks for consultants to provide the URA with energy auditing services, not to exceed $7,500. It will be available online at www.ura.org at that time.
 
Other items approved by the URA Board of Directors included the sale of the structure at 600
Liberty Ave. to PNC for $485,000 sale price; a proposal by Walnut Capital and Massaro Properties to renovate the Highland and Wallace Buildings for $1.55 million (Highland into approximately 111 market rate rental apartments and Wallace into storefront retail space with 18 market rate apartments); and an agreement for the construction of the East Side Pedestrian Bridge with Frank J. Zottola Construction Inc. for $1.55 million.
 
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The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) is the City of Pittsburgh’s economic
development agency, committed to creating jobs, expanding the City’s tax base and improving the vitality of businesses and neighborhoods. The URA achieves this mission by assembling,
preparing and conveying sites for major mixed-use developments; and by providing a portfolio of programs that include financing for business location, relocation and expansion, housing
construction and rehabilitation, and home purchases and improvements.
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