Building Community Through Better, Less Impactful Buildings
The median age of housing stock in the United States is 39 years old. Importantly, nearly 40% of all residential infrastructure in the U.S. was built in or before 1969, over 52 years ago. These buildings are less energy efficient than modern buildings due to ageing materials, obsolete technologies, and outdated construction practices. In such, residential energy consumption accounts for nearly 20% of carbon emissions in the nation. Just as we’re seeing a revolution in green transportation, as electric vehicles overtake their detrimental fossil fuel counterparts, the same is occurring for buildings and infrastructure.
BlocPower is a Brooklyn-based climate technology startup that is making American cities greener, smarter and healthier. BlocPower partners with utilities, government agencies, and building owners to identify unhealthy, energy-wasting buildings to retrofit. The company then works with these building owners to develop, install and finance targeted energy saving improvements. BlocPower gets paid via installation profits, financing fees, and enterprise contracts.
Since its founding in 2014, the company has retrofitted more than 1,000 buildings in disadvantaged communities in New York City, with projects underway in 25 cities. The business is based on the Company’s proprietary software for analysis, leasing, project management, and monitoring. The company’s clean energy projects often save the building owners 20%-70% on annual energy costs.
Blocpower LLC, the owner of BPES3, has raised $68 million from the world’s top investors including American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, AccelR8, The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Kapor Capital, Elemental Excelerator, CityRock Venture Partners, Hatzimemos/Libby, The Schmidt Family Foundation, Salesforce Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, MaC Venture Capital, Exelon, Echoing Green, and the New York Ventures of the Empire State Development Corporation.
BlocPower offers no-money-down system leasing for building owners, covering all maintenance and repairs for the duration of the contract. This reduces barriers to entry, complexity, capital requirements, and technology risk for the customers.
BlocPower transforms a fragmented, high touch, expensive, low volume incumbent process into a turnkey, digital, high volume operational process that is quick and streamlined by software and finance innovation consisting of:
Pre-screening tool, to identify buildings with high feasibility for energy efficiency projects
Virtual site-assessment tool, which allows remote scoping of work
Buildings database containing tens of thousands of buildings nationwide, which powers the pre-screening and assessment tools
Workflow management tools
Financial optimization models, to provide energy project savings quotes to customers
These services have a number of positive impacts, at both community and national scale.
Improving Public health from filters that reduce the spread of pollutants and infectious diseases, including COVID; and from non-combustion heating units that reduce exposure to pollutants that can trigger asthma.
Addressing the climate crisis by transitioning away from gas and oil-burning heating systems and reducing overall energy use which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Improving Economic Outcomes by reducing energy bills for tenants and increasing net operating income for building owners through reduced energy bills, as well as driving increases in property values.
Generating Employment Opportunities through new job opportunities and workforce training developed for hard-to-employ workers in project neighborhoods. BlocPower’s $37M violence intervention employment partnership with the City of New York has made waves as a major social and environmental development.
BlocPower is not only a leader in the decarbonization of the infrastructure sector, but is building up social resilience at the same time. By addressing all aspects of infrastructure — environmental, economic, social, BlocPower has cemented themselves as a company with community responsibility at its core. The Emerson Collective said it best. “By centering community, ecosystems, and togetherness, BlocPower acknowledges a sometimes obscure fact: that buildings are far more than bricks and timber and ductwork—they’re the spaces we all live and work and play in. The spaces where we come together. Which is why greening buildings is about so much more than just carbon emissions (“How greener buildings can help knit a community together,” Emerson Collective).
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