Electric bills are a big part of owning a home, and the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) is doing what it can to take the sting out of the bills for people living in low-income housing.Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – July 23, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] PECO Energy, an electric and natural gas utility company, has provided the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) with a grant of US$232,100 for the installation of 1.1 kW photovoltaic (PV) solar energy systems at 18 homes in the Grays Ferry Estates. Four of the PV systems will be installed at the Blackwell Homes, which is a separate development. Each PV installation is expected to produce 1,630 kWh of usable electricity in a year. “We are pleased to partner with the Housing Authority to provide low cost electricity for the residents of the Grays Ferry Estates and support a positive community development in our city,” said PECO President Denis O’Brien. “This is an example of the many PECO outreach programs in the region to assist low-income residents to better manage and afford their energy costs.” Residents using the PV systems could save between $400 and $500 yearly in energy costs, or as much as 25 percent of their energy costs each year, according to the PHA. The grant is part of a $500,000 Universal Services program sponsored by PECO to support solar power installations in low-income housing in Philadelphia. An initial grant of $88,000 was awarded to the Norris Square Civic Association in 2002, and funded the installation of eight PV systems.