A national coalition that includes nine major cities and counties has 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.

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.