- BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based energy technology firm that focuses on commercial and residential building energy efficiency, received $5.5 million from the Bezos Earth Fund.
- BlocPower is working to decarbonize buildings in large and small towns around the United States, especially in its hometown of New York City.
- It also collaborates with Ithaca, New York, which has recently started a 100% decarbonization strategy. According to BlocPower, buildings across the country lose up to $100 billion in fossil fuel consumption each year.
Grant for Development in the Urban
This week, the Bezos Earth Fund announced additional donations totaling $443 million to a variety of climate and environmental organizations. BlocPower, an energy efficiency technology start-up focused on building construction and retrofits in urban areas, received a $5.5 million grant.
BlocPower, an energy technology business based in Brooklyn, has executed 1,000 green energy projects in the New York City area to date. It wants to use the Bezos funding to expand its BlocMaps software database to include 125 million structures and new cities. It detects buildings that require energy efficiency upgrades and assists property owners in learning how to electrify and decarbonize their structures.
BlocPower also launched a WiFi service this year that provides free internet to low-income neighborhoods while also providing BlocPower with data on local energy usage. According to the company, this can result in yearly energy savings of 20 percent to 70 percent for customers.
“The Bezos Earth Fund’s mission is to support change agents who are grabbing the opportunities presented by this pivotal decade,” stated Andrew Steer, President, and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. “Through these awards, we are furthering climate justice and environmental conservation, two areas where more action is needed.”
In August, Microsoft partnered with Volt Energy, a Black-owned solar energy development company, to launch a solar project. It intends to bring sustainable energy projects and jobs to underserved metropolitan areas, moving the tech giant closer to its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.
Scope for Huge Savings
Donnel Baird, the founder and CEO of BlocPower, told reporters earlier this year that commercial construction interest is “skyrocketing.” The stakes are especially high when it comes to environmental renovations and energy efficiency. He thinks that 100 million buildings in the United States spend $100 billion on fossil fuels each year. He stated, “There are tremendous reductions that can be implemented.” As people return to work, Baird predicts that workers will be more concerned about air quality and building health impacts.
In August, Baird told reporters that as a diverse energy pioneer, he has seen firsthand how the energy sector and venture capital world are still prone to bias in fundraising.
He believes that the way many huge firms invest in climate change needs to change as well. Companies with little corporate accountability should invest in renewable energy credits in the streets of Chicago, Seattle, and low-income areas instead of the Brazilian rainforests.