City of Philadelphia

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Bold Investments Boost Energy Savings, Create Green Jobs


The city known as the birthplace of the nation faced a very modern dilemma. Philadelphia’s energy-wasting municipal buildings were dragging down city budgets and frustrating sustainability goals. Leaders recognized the risks and took bold action.

They formed the Philadelphia Energy Authority and launched the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a plan that would invest $1 billion in energy savings projects over 10 years and create 10,000 jobs by 2026. 

The idea was to use energy savings as a tool to fund infrastructure renewal and stimulate economic opportunities for residents.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the city’s biggest municipal energy user, was among the first projects.



The museum and city leaders partnered with Johnson Controls on a wide-ranging performance infrastructure project, carefully selecting a portfolio of improvements that would deliver maximum savings and improved outcomes.

Unlike schools and office buildings that allow HVAC setback times, the iconic landmark required a continuous, stable environment 24/7 to preserve 200 galleries of world-class art.

The portfolio generates $750,000 in guaranteed annual energy savings to pay for the $11.3 million investment and include:

  • LED lighting
  • Chillers
  • Steam trap replacement
  • Building automation upgrades
  • Air handling units
  • Condensate water reuse
  • Water fixtures

Municipal buildings are just the beginning. Similar transformations are underway at K-12 schools and the Philadelphia Housing Authority. 



Most noticeably, museum visitors see art in a whole new light with energy-saving LED fixtures. Predictable temperatures and humidity also make visitors more comfortable and protect precious art for future generations. Throughout the project, Johnson Controls created 329 green jobs and exceeded diverse business goals in hiring contractors.

The power behind your mission

Johnson Controls is powering Philadelphia’s mission to become a more resilient, sustainable city while helping to improve the community and local economy.

To that end, Johnson Controls invested $250,000 to equip and train the next generation of HVAC technicians. The HVAC Pathways Lab in North Philadelphia teaches valuable jobs skills to graduating high school students, adults and returning citizens, certifying them to qualify for in-demand, high-paying jobs.

Watch the video to learn how city leaders describe the Philadelphia’s transformation.
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