BlocPower Finances Energy Efficiency in Underserved Communities

July 27, 2016 by Shanna Edberg

blocpower miniA startup called BlocPower is providing financing for energy efficiency upgrades to small businesses and organizations in underserved communities with aging, inefficient buildings. Small businesses, especially those located in low income communities, typically find it difficult to gain financing for energy upgrades, so BlocPower bundles those businesses into a larger and more diversified group to make the loans more attractive for banks to make. In addition to lowering carbon emissions and saving money on energy bills, retrofitting old buildings for energy efficiency can also reduce the rate of asthma caused by poor ventilation systems. BlocPower requires the companies that implement the energy upgrades to hire locally from disadvantaged populations. They also encourage local residents to become equity owners in their clean energy assets, and train them in the operation of solar panels and battery systems.

Climate Protection: Lowers carbon emissions from energy use Energy & Mobility: Saves energy Jobs & Assets: Creates jobs; saves money on energy bills Health, Well-Being, & Safety: Improves indoor air quality Connection: Gives residents a stake in energy systems; builds awareness of climate change

This post is part of a series on examples of multisolving, or climate-smart policies that simultaneously work to mitigate climate change while providing co-benefits such as the ones described above. The multiple benefits analysis was done using the FLOWER framework.