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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 17, 2021 09:41 AM
From: Representative Joe Ciresi
To: All House members
Subject: Sustainable Community Safe House Grants
When natural disasters hit – like we recently saw with Hurricane Ida – they can damage houses, knock out power,  and inflict other damage to a community. In times like those, our constituents need help, and governments should be ready to help when that need arises.

Sustainable community safe houses can be there for people when they need somewhere to go, as gathering places for the community when their homes have been damaged by floods, wind, or other types of natural disasters that we’re increasingly seeing in Pennsylvania. And when power lines are knocked over by trees, substations are flooded, and fuel is inaccessible, off-grid renewable energy can come to the rescue. Powered by renewable energy backup systems, these resilient centers could remain operational even when the power in the community goes out, ensuring that volunteers could plug in refrigerators and fans, residents could charge their cell phones, and all sorts of other needs could continue to be met.

That is why I plan to introduce legislation that would allow counties, municipalities, and councils of governments to apply for grants to develop and maintain community buildings that are powered by and store green energy. Grants of up to $250,000 would be issued to create emergency systems and centers, sustainably and reliably backed up by renewable energy, that would be there for our communities in their time of need. Money for these grants will be appropriated to the already existing State Sustainable Energy Fund to help get these projects off the ground.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to ensure communities across Pennsylvania are ready for the next natural disaster, and that our constituents have somewhere to go when they need our help the most.

Introduced as HB2321