Efficiency Startup Gets Funding to Cut Energy Use by Buildings

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(Bloomberg) -- Carbon Lighthouse, a San Francisco-based energy-efficiency company, raised $27 million to expand its engineering and marketing efforts.

GRC SinoGreen Fund led the oversubscribed funding round and JCI Ventures, SV Tech Ventures and EBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Ulupono Initiative also participated, according to Carbon Lighthouse Chief Executive Officer Brenden Millstein. Other investors included Ekistic Ventures, Tom Steyer’s Radicle Impact Partners, former General Motors Co. Vice Chairman Steve Girsky and Tesla Inc. Chief Technology Officer Jeffrey B Straubel.

Carbon Lighthouse’s software analyzes data collected from sensors to find ways to make commercial, industrial and education buildings use energy more efficiently. It signs contracts with the owners guaranteeing a certain percentage of annual savings on their power bills, and must cover the difference if it falls short, Millstein said. The company will use the funds to develop its software and hire sales and marketing staff.

Policymakers increasingly see improving the energy use of buildings as way to slice carbon emissions. The majority of U.S. states have adopted some sort of international conservation code for buildings, according to February report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Total U.S. spending on energy efficiency through formal regulatory or policy efforts reached $14.5 billion in 2016, the report found.

Carbon Lighthouse has deployed its technology at more than 500 buildings across 16 states and has eliminated emissions equivalent to six power plants, Millstein said. The company can slice bills by 20 percent to 30 percent, he said.

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