Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Brooklyn-based company helps buildings become cleaner and greener » Yale Climate Connections

Bright Light Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, has long provided a spiritual home for its parishioners. But for years, the church’s physical space was declining.

The building was drafty, and its huge, old boiler was inefficient and expensive to run. The church had resorted to heating some spaces by running the oven with the door open.

“And they just do not have the money to make the improvements that are necessary,” says Leia Sims of BlocPower.

BlocPower is a company that makes buildings more efficient and helps them transition to systems that run on electricity, instead of oil or gas.

At the church, BlocPower sealed air leaks and drafts, and installed electric heat pumps to provide heating and cooling.

Sims says heat pumps and other electric appliances are healthier for occupants than those that burn oil or gas, which can contribute to poor indoor air quality. And heat pumps use less energy.

“They’re way more efficient,” Sims says. “And all that leads to fewer carbon emissions.”

To make this technology more affordable, BlocPower installs heat pumps at little or no upfront cost to clients. The clients lease the systems, and BlocPower monitors and maintains them over time.

Sims says it’s a model designed to make clean, efficient technologies more widely accessible.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media

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