Serious Energy Offers No-Cost Efficiency Retrofits

by | Nov 4, 2011

Serious Energy has launched a building upgrade service that the company says won’t cost building owners a penny.

The firm developed SeriousCapital in part from the successful model of power purchase agreements for solar arrays. Through the offering, Serious Energy identifies, installs, and pays for efficiency upgrades, off-balance sheet. The company says the service provides cheaper, better, easier upgrades than any other efficiency service offered today.

SeriousCapital general manager Claire Broido Johnson pioneered the solar power purchase agreement as a co-founder of SunEdison, according to Serious Energy.

Greenbang outlined an example of how the program will work:

Serious Energy and its partners start with how much a building owner is spending now on energy, say, $1 million. They then identify improvements that can cut those energy costs, and make a deal with the building owner: You pay us $1 million minus $50,000 a year over the next 10 years, which means you’ve brought your annual energy costs down to $950,000. We pay for a package of improvements that actually reduces your utility bill by $250,000 a year, take care of the $750,000 annual bill from your utility, and use the remaining $200,000 to cover maintenance, bank and financing fees.

Serious Energy, which changed its name from Serious Materials in June, was the company behind the refurbishment of all 6,514 windows in the Empire State Building, which became the tallest building in the U.S. to win LEED Gold for Existing Buildings certification.

Last month the company announced it had installed its super-insulating SeriousGlass in the New York Stock Exchange building. The retrofit will increase the thermal performance of the stock exchange by almost 60 percent and reduce solar heat gain by 40 percent compared to the original glass, according to Serious Energy.

In other energy efficiency moves, GreenTechGrid reports that home energy management startup Powerhouse Dynamics is shifting its focus to the commercial market. This week the company secured a $3 million Series A funding round aimed at the four million commercial buildings in the U.S. under 20,000 square feet.

Last July, Powerhouse released its eMonitor c-Series, designed for chains such as restaurants and convenience stores.

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