Sleek new townhouses bring energy efficiency to low-income Philadelphians

Philadelphia is a major city that has gone to great lengths in showcasing the benefits of energy efficiency. From the massive LED light show that changed the cities skyline throughout the summer and fall to massive developments proposed for the downtrodden waterfront, "green living" has been a buzz-word citywide over the past year or more.

Now, lower income Philadelphia residents will not only get to hear about the benefits of environmental friendliness, but some will actually get the chance to experience it first hand. A new residential project has sprouted up in the Logan neighborhood that the Philadelphia Inquirer has called "low-income housing superior to anything Philadelphia has done in half a century."

The three new townhouses, called Onion Flats, are located in a neighborhood filled with older triple-deckers that are described by many residents as "sinking" because of their decrepit state of disrepair.

These new homes are thoroughly modern inside and out, featuring luscious outdoor patios, a collection of solar panels on the facades and interiors that take advantage of the ample natural light available in the low-rise neighborhood.

Despite featuring top-of-the-line appliances and state-of-the-art energy technologies, these homes only cost roughly $225,000 to construct, and will market for no more than $300,000. Once owners have occupied these properties, the costs of utilities will be close to nothing, as these homes are almost completely energy independent.

Owners of older homes can take advantage of such energy efficient benefits that are enjoyed by the residents of this new development without having to abandon their current properties. By allowing a home inspection contractor to conduct an energy audit on their houses, these residents can discover where to curb unnecessary utility use in their residences.