A major energy-efficiency project in downtown Harrisburg has been recognized by PPL Electric Utilities.
Harristown Enterprises spent nearly $16.5 million for a series of upgrades at Strawberry Square and its 333 Market Street properties. In return, it has received a rebate from the utility company totaling more than $1.2 million, which will be used to help fund future downtown real estate projects.
The spending was driven largely by a 17-year lease that is bringing hundreds of workers from the state Department of Human Services from the former state hospital grounds into the former Verizon Tower, now known as the Commonwealth Tower.
Harristown upgraded lighting, water fixtures, HVAC systems and life safety and building control systems. That work was completed by Siemens between March 2015 and July 2016.
Brad Jones, the company’s president and CEO, estimates the project will save $1.5 million per year in energy and operations costs.
“It’s about one-third of our cost,” he said.
PPL said the money paid to Harristown represents one of the biggest rebates the company has ever presented to a customer. PPL offers rebates for energy-efficiency improvements to business and residential customers.
Including the energy project, Harristown has invested about $33 million in downtown Harrisburg over the last 20 months. That included the fitout work for the state lease, plus several fitouts for tenants in Strawberry Square. Harristown also has been busy with three apartment projects that have added about 50 rental units to the downtown.