National Coalition Launches Turnkey Building Decarbonization Program in 9 Major U.S. Cities and Counties

Following the recent award of $20 billion in federal “green bank” grants, this innovative program aims to accelerate adoption of clean-energy technologies across 6 million small commercial and multifamily buildings nationwide whose carbon footprint remains stubbornly high

Building Decarbonization In-a-Box is a turnkey building decarbonization program being launched in nine major cities and counties that aims to rapidly scale up the deployment of clean-energy technologies across millions of small commercial and multifamily buildings with persistently high carbon footprints. These buildings consume 44% of the overall energy used in buildings, are often located in underserved communities, and have been largely overlooked by decarbonization efforts. (Graphic: Building Decarbonization In-a-Box/UtilityAPI)

WASHINGTON--()--Today, a national coalition that includes nine major cities and counties launched a turnkey building decarbonization program that aims to rapidly scale up the deployment of clean-energy technologies across millions of small commercial and multifamily buildings with persistently high carbon footprints.

The innovative Building Decarbonization In-A-Box (BDAB) program, announced just days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $20 billion in competitive "green bank" grants through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, will be one of the first initiatives to demonstrate how the newly available funding will mobilize capital for on-the-ground decarbonization projects in communities across America.

Six cities – Atlanta, Georgia; Fort Collins, Colorado; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Reno, Nevada; and San Antonio, Texas – and three counties – Los Angeles County, California; St. Louis County, Missouri; and Montgomery County, Maryland – will be the first to take advantage of the local government-driven BDAB program. The coalition also includes three companies – UtilityAPI, Allectrify, and Sustainable Real Estate Solutions (SRS) – and four nonprofit green banks – Colorado Clean Energy Fund, Missouri Green Banc, Montgomery County Green Bank, and Philadelphia Green Capital Corporation.

Buildings account for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions globally (and as much as 70% of the total emissions in cities), but existing decarbonization programs tend to overlook small commercial and multifamily buildings. These buildings are less than 50,000 square feet in size, account for 94% of the United States’ commercial building stock, consume 44% of the overall energy used in buildings, and are often located in underserved communities.

The BDAB program, supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Elemental Excelerator, will help local leaders accelerate the decarbonization of the nation’s six million small commercial and multifamily buildings.

To implement BDAB, participating cities and counties will harness three key data sets: building permits, energy benchmarking (where available), and customer utility data. This will:

  • Enable program partners to identify buildings that can benefit from cost-saving clean energy and decarbonization upgrades, such as heat pump upgrades, using local government permit data and/or energy benchmarking data. Building owners will be contacted through direct mail and targeted digital marketing campaigns.
  • Provide participating building owners with no-cost technical and financial assistance via proven software solutions from SRS, UtilityAPI, and Allectrify.
  • Expand the network of local community lenders trained to provide “green financing,” including 100% long-term Commercial PACE financing, using Allectrify’s FASTPACE platform.

As the first fully integrated public-private partnership to leverage municipal and utility data to facilitate building decarbonization upgrades at scale, the BDAB program will demonstrate the critical role that municipalities can play in the successful implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Municipalities that embrace the BDAB model will continue to see building decarbonization upgrades happening in their communities – along with all the associated benefits – long after federal funding runs out.

BDAB stakeholders shared their thoughts on the initiative's potential impact and the importance of leveraging federal green bank funding:

  • Colin Bishopp, Founder and CEO, Allectrify
    “Building Decarbonization In-A-Box disrupts the status quo in a way that benefits all communities, including underserved urban and rural communities that are so often left behind. We invite every municipality and utility in the country that is interested in our common-sense, turnkey approach to join this coalition so we can support the successful implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and upgrade more buildings in communities all across the country.
  • Devin Hampton, CEO, UtilityAPI
    “To decarbonize buildings and save people money, you need access to critical data on energy and building information. Getting access to this data has been a major barrier to scaling this market. The BDAD program changes that by solving the data access problem and turning it into the foundation of a scaleable solution. With it, cities, building owners, and communities can capitalize on unprecedented federal funding to get to work decarbonizing and saving money.”
  • Brian McCarter, Founder and CEO, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions
    “Owners of small commercial and multifamily buildings seldom see the business case for energy efficiency. The BDAB program will fill this gap by providing owners the technical and financial assistance they need to confidently invest in energy improvements. Building owners are often surprised to learn that the combination of cash incentives for high efficiency equipment, lower energy costs, and long-term financing create a compelling business case to invest in comprehensive retrofits.”
  • Danya Hakeem, VP of Portfolio, Elemental Excelerator
    “As an investor across the climate spectrum, Elemental understands the outsized benefits to building occupants when climate solutions are deployed in the homes and offices where we spend 90% of our time. The Building Decarbonization In-A-Box Program is a real solution to help identify the buildings most in need of clean energy upgrades and empower cities, building owners and tenants to accelerate these critical projects.”
  • Paul Scharfenberger, CEO, Colorado Clean Energy Fund
    “By democratizing access to clean energy finance and technical expertise, the Building Decarbonization In-A-Box program will enable state green banks like ours to accelerate the deployment of decarbonization solutions in underserved communities and help bridge the gap between these historic federal investments and the small commercial and multifamily buildings that have traditionally been difficult to reach. We look forward to working with this innovative coalition to create a healthier, more resilient, and more equitable clean energy future for all Coloradans.”
  • Steve Morel, CEO, Montgomery County Green Bank
    “Building Decarbonization In-A-Box is a turnkey program that enables local green banks like ours to equip property owners with a preliminary business case for decarbonization solutions at their properties, and thereby accelerate investment decisions. This is particularly important in the hard-to-reach small commercial, faith community, and multifamily sectors. We look forward to working with this innovative coalition to create a healthier, more resilient, and more equitable clean energy future for families and businesses in Montgomery County.”
  • Maryrose Myrtetus, Executive Director, Philadelphia Green Capital Corporation
    “The innovative Building Decarbonization In-A-Box program presents an exciting opportunity to address the root causes of a huge market challenge in commercial building energy use – both here in Philadelphia and across the country. The targeted technical assistance and access to energy use and building-specific data will allow us to bring comprehensive solutions to the more than 1,000 buildings in Philadelphia each year that are in dire need of upgrades to outdated HVAC systems. This focused approach, combined with accessible, long-term Commercial PACE and other flexible green financing solutions made possible by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, promises a more sustainable future for our city’s aging infrastructure, and a more cost-effective solution for our small businesses and working families.”
  • Melody Echols, Assistant Director, Invest Atlanta
    "This program has the potential to improve the commercial infrastructure in Atlanta’s disinvested neighborhoods that often include smaller, older buildings compared to highly concentrated urban centers. Innovative partnerships like these not only help reduce the carbon footprint in our city, but also help developers and property owners make profitable investment decisions that deliver lasting social benefits. With this, we are moving closer to achieving the City of Atlanta’s goal of 100% Clean Energy for 100% of Atlantans by 2035.”
  • John Harris, President, Missouri Green Banc
    "As a green bank, our mission is to lower the financial barriers to clean energy adoption. We’re proud to have helped lead the development of the BDAB program because of its unique potential to drive significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in one of the most challenging sectors – commercial and multifamily buildings – while also fostering economic growth and job creation. BDAB is well-positioned to ensure that the benefits of sustainable energy are shared broadly, especially in underserved communities."
  • David Suckling, Energy Services Engineer, Fort Collins Utilities
    “The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund has the potential to solve a persistent market issue in the commercial buildings sector that disproportionately impacts low-income and disadvantaged communities. Building owners in underserved communities need access to no-cost technical assistance, their own utility data, and long-term financing in order to upgrade their buildings, save money, and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. Fort Collins can get that data to our customers so that they can make decisions and act.”

About UtilityAPI

UtilityAPI is a company on a mission to unleash the clean energy revolution by unlocking data. The company’s cutting-edge data access network offers the simplest and most secure way for partners to tap into utility data like never before. By collecting, standardizing, and sharing data, we are igniting the transition to a clean energy future for everyone. To learn more, visit

About Allectrify

Allectrify is a public benefit corporation that enables banks, credit unions, CDFIs, green banks and other lenders to offer Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing alongside traditional lending products. The addition of C-PACE as a bank-funded financing option makes it much easier for building owners and developers to obtain long-term financing for solar PV, energy efficiency, and building electrification upgrades. For more information, visit:

About Sustainable Real Estate Solutions

Sustainable Real Estate Solutions (SRS), founded in 2010 by experienced commercial real estate and energy efficiency professionals, has built a national reputation as program administrator of state and local government Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) programs. The company’s proprietary technology-enabled Energy Performance Improvement Calculator (EPIC™) streamlines the technical and financial assistance services needed to help building owners evaluate energy improvement alternatives. This best practice methodology has facilitated over $710 million in energy efficiency financing nationwide. To learn more, visit:

About Elemental Excelerator

Elemental is a nonprofit investor in climate technologies with deep community impact. We bring more than a decade of experience across the climate sector, with an active and maturing portfolio of 150+ companies. Elemental fills two gaps fundamental to addressing climate change: funding projects for climate technologies in communities, and embedding equity and access into climate solutions. To learn more about Elemental's team and our work in scaling climate technology with community impact, visit


Greg Frost, Privateer Communications


Greg Frost, Privateer Communications