Pooling Properties to Finance Energy Upgrades

BlocPower facilitates energy efficiency upgrades in underserved communities by pooling building portfolios and connecting property owners with investors.

BlocPower organizes micro-portfolios of houses of worship, small businesses, nonprofits, and multi-family properties in low-income communities in need of retrofitting, aiming to cut energy costs by an average of 25%. The portfolios of clean energy projects are connected to investors seeking social, environmental, and financial returns via an online marketplace. BlocPower leverages credibility to investors by performing energy audits and retrofitting plans. Investors financing micro-portfolios are repaid by the energy savings generated by the project.
BlocPower creates jobs by sending disadvantaged youth to training courses and employing them to undertake the retrofits. In 2015, the company served more than 300 clients in underserved communities and launched a plan to retrofit 1,000 Brooklyn buildings and build a solar-powered, community-owned microgrid.

Relevance of solution

According to BlocPower, New York City is home to more than 200,000 small businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship. Those found in low-income communities often spend 30% of their income on energy costs. In addition, these communities face 30% to 50% unemployment rates. By providing an option for low-income communities to affordably retrofit their buildings, the company helps reduce carbon emissions, save building owners money, and create jobs.

Triple Bottom Line

Environmental

Energy efficiency upgrades reduce buildings’ energy consumption; reducing energy consumption in turn reduces carbon emissions.

Social

By creating jobs for local youth, BlocPower helps increase urban tax bases, improve quality of life, and provides stability for low-income families.

Economic

Money saved from energy retrofits can be reinvested in the communities served by BlocPower, helping them improve services and standards of living.