BlocPower Achieves Significant Climate and Business Momentum in 2022

December 21, 2022
The Commons in Ithaca, NY

NEW YORK – December 21, 2022 BlocPower, a leading national climate tech company focused on greening and electrifying aging buildings, announced significant momentum in 2022. BlocPower signed contracts to electrify all buildings in major American cities; won several large-scale electrification projects in California, Colorado, Illinois, Wisconsin and New York; trained thousands of individuals in green jobs; and relaunched BlocMaps, a software platform to help urban sustainability planners to plan green building programs at city scale. BlocPower was named Startup Innovator of the Year by the National Venture Capital Association, 4th Most Innovative Company in the World by Fast Company, and TIME’s 100 Most Influential Companies.

“BlocPower’s mission — to reduce 30% of America’s greenhouse gas emissions while creating smarter, greener, healthier buildings for all— took major leaps forward in 2022. This year has been the best in our company’s history,” said Donnel Baird, CEO of BlocPower. “I'm incredibly proud of the BlocPower team. We've all committed our lives to fighting the climate crisis. BlocPower will be coast to coast in 2023.” 

Key company milestones in 2022 included:

Building Decarbonization

BlocPower signed several large-scale decarbonization contracts, including installing heat pumps, solar and EV charging equipment, replacing gas appliances, weatherizing homes, providing no-cost financing, and more.

  • Ithaca, NY: Decarbonizing 6,000 buildings, the first city-scale electrification project in the U.S.
  • Menlo Park, CA: Decarbonizing 10,000 buildings. BlocPower’s second city-scale project.
  • East Bay Community Energy: Decarbonizing low- and moderate-income (LMI) homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, after a successful Phase 1 in 2021. The project is the first-of-its-kind electrification partnership with any community choice aggregation (CCA) program.
  • Denver: Decarbonizing 200 LMI multi-family homes in Denver and Denver County.
  • San Jose, CA: Decarbonizing 250 LMI homes and  buildings.
  • San Luis Obispo, CA: Pilot program to decarbonize 10-15 buildings.

In addition to city and utility partnerships, BlocPower inked deals with Harvest Thermal to deploy its “smart” thermal storage systems in future electrification projects and Fujitsu General America to bring split terminal heat pumps to the U.S. for the first time. Both of these decarbonization partners enable BlocPower to deliver accessible and affordable upgrades to the families and building owners that need it most.  

The company also completed hundreds of household retrofits across the country in 2022, bringing the total number of energy projects to over 5,000-projects. Additional city- and state-wide decarbonization projects will be announced throughout 2023. 

Workforce Development

BlocPower launched and administered workforce development programs to support decarbonization projects in several cities, including Denver, CO. 

In addition, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice awarded BlocPower a $54 million contract expansion to train 3,000 city residents to use clean energy jobs to reduce gun violence as part of Mayor Eric Adams’ Precision Employment Initiative. The new contract expanded upon the original $37 million PEI contract from 2021, which launched the Civilian Climate Corps. To support this growth, BlocPower opened two new training facilities this year in Brooklyn and the Bronx. 

To showcase the Civilian Climate Corps’ remarkable success, BlocPower issued a Year One Impact Report highlighting the program’s first year milestones. One year after its September 2021 launch, the Civilian Climate Corps:

  • Trained more than 1,700 NYC residents, of which 81% were previously under- or unemployed
  • Helped secure more than 400 job placements
  • Saw incidents of gun violence fall by more than 28% in two communities where the Civilian Climate Corps recruits members

BlocMaps Expansion + Data & Tech Partnerships

BlocPower wrapped 2021 by announcing the Bezos Earth Fund-backed Building Data Collective (BDC) —an open source dataset and recommendation engine for more than 100 million buildings across America. This year, citizens, cities and utilities across the country are already benefiting from it. 

The BDC allowed BlocPower to make major strides in achieving its goal of providing customized green upgrade recommendations for every home and building in the country — 100% free of charge. After launching in New York State earlier in the year, property owners in Denver, CO and Menlo Park, CA can answer a few simple questions about their home or building and receive a free Instant Building Report. 

BlocPower also expanded its proprietary, AI-powered software platform, BlocMaps, which is used by municipalities and utilities to develop and implement equitable, data-driven decarbonization strategies. Beyond New York City, BlocMaps added several new regions in 2022 with further expansion planned throughout 2023. Platform expansions include:

  • Ithaca, NY
  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Chicago, IL (via ComEd)

BlocMaps even caught the eye of Amazon Web Services (AWS), the leading cloud computing provider. After featuring BlocPowers software in a case study, they invited BlocPower to participate in the AWS Sustainable Cities Accelerator for Infrastructure.

BlocPower co-founded a consortium with Aclima, Bitwise Industries and Promise to build technology solutions that serve the public good called the Upside Tech Alliance. With funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the American Rescue Act, the Upside Tech Alliance partners with local leaders to equitably implement technology solutions that build healthy, connected, intelligent cities. 

Project Funding

Financing is key to decarbonization and In 2022, BlocPower is proud to announce a $30 million project financing commitment from the Microsoft Innovation Fund. The funds were incorporated into a $50 million project financing  facility established and funded by the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group in 2021.  We welcomed SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust to the facility in 2022. Between these three partners, BlocPower has significant current and future access to capital. 

Outside of the loan facility, BlocPower received $1.4 million in financing and incentives from East Bay Community Energy in California and a $3 million guarantee from Kresge Foundation. The company raised an additional $1.6 million in crowdfunding primarily via RaiseGreen.  

Clean Transportation Projects

BlocPower is working with the New York State government and several cleantech startups to green urban transportation. BlocPower is also training workers for the green transportation industry through our partnership with ChargerHelp!. The company is excited to support two new ventures in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. 

  • CTAP: BlocPower is providing financing for Dollaride’s Clean Transit Access Program (CTAP), which was awarded $10 million to bring all-electric transportation services to underserved NYC communities.
  • CALSTART: BlocPower (in conjunction with ChargerHelp) will administer the EV charger technician training program for CALSTART’s Freight Electrification-as-a-Service Transformation (FEaST), which will bring EV freight trucks and charging infrastructure to New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. 

Thought Leadership

BlocPower is proud to contribute to the cutting edge thinking of building electrification, green workforce development, and the broader decarbonization ecosystem. In the spring, BlocPower Director of Policy, Clare Doyle Dowd, briefed the Progressive Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives on building electrification, health and workforce, while CEO and Founder Donnel Baird spoke at the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Sustainability Series in the summer. At the federal level, BlocPower was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as both a PowerConnector and a Technical Assistance Provider for its Community Leap program. NREL and the Wells Fargo Foundation included BlocPower as its inaugural Innovation Incubator cohort focused on demonstration projects relating to building decarbonization technology. BlocPower also contributed to ULI’s 2022 Global Sustainability Outlook

Donnel Baird was invited to join the CNBC CEO Council and the Fast Company Impact Council, both consortiums of innovative business leaders to discuss the greatest opportunities and challenges of our time, and how they can play a part in shaping the future.

Outside of the business and policy space, Donnel Baird was invited to speak and engage at several national leading conferences and summits on the subject of equitably addressing the climate crisis. From a fireside chat with Chelsea Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting to speaking at New York Times and Bloomberg summits — Donnel and BlocPower continued to spread the word on the importance of achieving greenhouse gas reductions by way of building electrification in an inclusive way. 

Awards & Recognition

The company and its executives won several prestigious awards in 2022 including:

  

About BlocPower

BlocPower is a Brooklyn-based climate technology leader rapidly greening American cities. Since its founding in 2014, the company has completed energy projects in more than 5,000 households, commercial buildings and houses of worship. BlocPower utilizes its proprietary software for analysis, leasing, project management, and monitoring of clean energy projects. The company is backed by the world's top investors, including Goldman Sachs, Kapor Capital, Microsoft's Climate Innovation Fund, Andreessen Horowitz and American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact. In 2022, Fast Company named BlocPower the #4 Most Innovative Company in the World.