Sherif Youssef, Director of Major Accounts in PGW’s Marketing Department, is a forward-thinking energy expert. His expertise and deep knowledge of the energy market has helped position PGW as an industry leader in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology. Youssef helped guide PGW in the installation of more than 20 CHP units throughout our region, plus the fuel cells operating at Urban Outfitters’ campus at the Navy Yard.

His knowledge and acumen for advanced technology has not gone unnoticed. In 2017, Youssef was named to the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) Board of Directors.

The nine-person board helps direct millions of dol­lars in funding for renewable energy and advanced technology projects in South­eastern Pennsylvania. Joining Youssef on the board are leaders from various areas of the energy field from public policy and engineering to finance and consulting.

The fund was created by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with the goal to promote clean energy and conservation, and to retain startup businesses in the renewable energy field.

“Unless there is some sort of subsidy from the government those projects will never see the light,” Youssef said, noting the high cost of newer technologies.

SDF has provided more than $48.5 million in financial assistance for clean energy projects since its founding in December 1999. Some of the projects include the new Aloft hotel on Broad Street, and Paseo Verde retail and residential devel­opment just up Ninth Street from PGW Corporate Headquarters.

SDF offers loans and grants to help fund the use of energy efficient technologies, like Combined Heat and Power units and fuel cells.

Uncovering and promoting alternative uses for natural gas technologies is a way for PGW to maintain a competitive, safe utility by enhancing revenue and driving a green economy. Youssef notes that fuel cells and CHP units are powered by natural gas and fit within the fund’s mission because it is cleaner and more efficient than other fossil fuels.

He said that these newer energy technol­ogies also help make Philadelphia more attractive, and help attract and retain businesses operating in the city. A strong energy infrastructure can help spur economic development as Philadelphia competes with other cities. “Any improve­ment you make, you are helping society to breathe cleaner air,” he said.